Youths to learn about baseball, teamwork at clinic
BRISTOL -- Baseball players of all ages, shapes and sizes will take part in the Bristol Boys and Girls Clubs 6th Annual Baseball Clinic Sunday.
The theme of the event, which takes place at Memorial Boulevard School from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., is giving back to the community.
Jay Maia, unit director for the Cambridge Park Unit of the Boys and Girls Club, said that 15 volunteers are coming out to the event, which includes baseball players of all levels.
"Every volunteer has been a member of a local Little League team. Many of them went on to play in high school, college, and even the minor leagues," said Maia.
"The volunteers are giving back what was once given to them by one of the groups they participated in," added Maia.
The event is a collaborative one, sponsored also by the New Britain Rock Cats, Subway on Main Street in Bristol, and ProBatter Sports of Milford.
Fifty boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 12 were selected to participate in the event on a first-come, first-served basis.
Matt Simpson of ProBatter Sports says hes excited to see the children experience a pitching machine that he expects many of them have never used before.
The ProBatter professional is a video pitching machine which has a big screen with major league players. The on-screen pitcher performs the wind-up and sends out pitches that are selected on the machine.
The machine throws sliders, curve balls, split-fingered fast balls, and many other pitches, up to speeds of 100 mph.
"The machine gives the kids an illusion of a game-time environment," said Simpson, who noted that the machine is different than humans, because it can consistently throw the exact same pitch, whereas a human being can not.
During the clinic, the children will participate in stations. Maia says as soon as the kids arrive, theyll focus on topics like teamwork, then talk about drug and alcohol prevention. Afterwards, the kids will be split into stations where theyll practice hitting, fielding, catching and the ProBatter machine.
Subway will also be on hand to serve up sandwiches for the kids. Sonny Malhotra is the owner of the Main Street Subway, and said he wanted to help in any way he could.
"I like what they are doing. Its a good event. I like to participate in events like this that helps the kids, and those events that deal with education. Thats what we strive for as community members," said Malhotra.
The event, which is open to the public to watch -- and open to other 8- to 12-year-olds who would like to try out the batting machine -- will also have a number of Rock Cats players on hand, as well as Rocky, the Rock Cats mascot.
©The Bristol Press 2004