Tavistock Minor Ball hosted their annual Fastball Skills Clinic

May 18, 2007

Tavistock, ON

A Sincere and Heartfelt Thank You  


It was my intentions to send out this letter of thanks earlier in the week but as the saying goes, "better late than never".

On Saturday May 12, Tavistock Minor Ball hosted their annual Fastball Skills Clinic for players
8 - 14 years of age
. 65 enthusiastic young fastballers took to the field for a day of instruction, drills and more importantly, FUN !!

The day began with a Pitcher/Catcher session from 8:30-10:00am followed by two Skill sessions from 10:30 - 12:00 noon and two more Skill sessions from 2:00 until 3:30pm. Sandwiched in between was our pizza lunch and traditional Skills Competition. Awards presentation from 3:30-4:00pm wrapped up a long but exciting day. The kids all had a wonderful and eventful experience.

What makes this clinic such a great success each year for the kids is the volunteer instructors that give of their time to spend a day with these young players and teach them not only the Skills of the game but the love of the game as well. As always, I sent out my S.O.S. for these volunteers beginning a couple of months ago and as always they came happily from all over the province to assist. These volunteers that I speak of are my friends, my teammates, and people who understand that for our great game to survive, we all need to do our part. No less than 5 members of Team Canada's Player Pool were on hand to assist. No less than 12 World Class players and coaches were there in total to provide instruction, share the laughs, and autograph t-shirts and hats at the end of the day until the last player was satisfied and heading home happy. What a thrill for these young players to rub elbows with some of the best players in the game for an entire day. What great memories these kids will share from this experience. What tremendous dedication these unselfish volunteers exhibited staying around after 8 or more hours of instructing, simply to sign autographs and send a young ball player home with a smile. It never ceases to amaze me how many great and unselfish people there are in our game. I guess that's why its a hard game to leave. It becomes a part of your being and it never goes away.

For the critics that think that nobody gives back to the game of fastball, they should have spent May 12 in Tavistock. It was truly a wonderful event to witness, and I know that the majority of these young ball players will be back again next year for a repeat performance. Many were back again from previous years. That means that if nothing else, this annual experience may in some small way, encourage these young ball players to continue to play the game. Hopefully to, it will encourage them to aspire to be a "World Class" ball player of the future. Only through this, will our great game of fastball survive. Its everyone's responsibility to make this happen.
To Todd Martin, Paul Koert, Don Scott, Pat Humphries, Pete Stewart, Dale Levy, Grant Baechler, Jason Daer, Evan Boyd, Derek Shackleton, Doug Eidt and Steve Kreuter, THANK YOU for taking the time and helping to make a difference. You're fantastic friends and teammates, and this day would not have been possible without each and every one of you. Also a special thanks to Nat Kelterborn who assisted with our Pitcher sessions. Nat is a former NCAA pitching star and we appreciate her time and efforts as well.

This concludes the Skills Clinics for this spring for many of the Hallman Hwins and Sebringville Sting players who also ran an earlier clinc over two weeks in Monkton, Ontario. Its time to now hit the field and play some ball, knowing that we have helped in some way to start the season on a very positive note for many young ball players.
Thanks again to all of you.

Dave Bailey
Vice President
Tavistock Minor Ball

PS Congratulations to The Orillia boys that are also running their "PITCH to WIN" Clinics this spring in Northern Ontario. Awesome fellas and Good On You.

Al's Fastball News
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