By JOSH FRYE
News Sports Writer
Poarch baseball players of all ages had the chance to not just rub shoulders with some professional baseball players, but to also learn from them during the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Baseball Clinic held in Poarch on Saturday, June 15.
Young players were all smiles as five Blue Wahoos players treated them to a day with the pros. Players were able to run the bases with the guys, perform hitting drills, have a catch session and perform fielding routines.
“It really gave the kids a great opportunity to learn from players who have actually made it into pro baseball,” Poarch Recreation representative Jake McGhee said. “They were able to learn more than just the physical aspects of the game, but also the mental.”
Kids in several age groups participated in the event and had the chance to get special one-on-one time with the players.
Wind Creek Casino and Hotel made the event possible through its sponsorship of the Blue Wahoos Baseball organization.
Wahoo players such as Taylor Grzelakowski could be seen sharing laughs and smiles with the kids as he worked on base running drills with the youth. Grzelakowski, a 25-year-old infielder, was clearly excited to be part of the action during Saturday’s clinic.
“The opportunity for these guys to be able to come out and work with our youth is a really big deal,” said McGhee. “As a kid I remember that I didn’t have many opportunities such as this available. Events such as this is something that they will remember forever, and they will be able to take the lessons that they learned during this clinic with them for the rest of their baseball careers.”
McGhee also explained that one of the goals of the program was to be able to help each child reach his or her full potential by being able to rub shoulders and learn from guys who are paid to play baseball.
No doubt the players were able to share with the young athletes the work and skill it takes to make it to the next level of baseball.
“Events such as this help give back to the community of Poarch and offer youth the realization that dreams and goals can be achieved,” McGhee said.