Minnesota Twins hold youth clinic in Lehigh Acres
More than 100 kids turned out Saturday to participate in one of 10 free, Southwest Florida youth baseball clinics presented by Lee Health and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund.
The local clinic was held inside Williams Park at 1400 West 5th St., in Lehigh Acres. Each of the 10 free clinics were open to youth of all skill levels, ages 5-13; and accompanied by an adult.
Clinic instructors were made up of Minnesota Twins prospects and future stars who offered youths the opportunity to learn more about baseball and softball. The Twins’ instructors used drills to teach the fundamentals of throwing, hitting and fielding at clinic.
“The Twins come out every year around this time and offer these clinics. It’s a great opportunity for the kids. They seem to really have fun. Plus, the players are happy to be here with the kids,” Lehigh Little League Director Chris Van Note said.
The clinic began at 1 p.m. with a short introduction by John Gordon, the former Minnesota Twins announcer. For more than 25 years Gordon was the voice of the Twins during each game.
Following a clinic instructors’ rooster read-off, players broke the kids into various groups where they would spend time focusing on a certain elements of the game including pitching, fielding and hitting.
The kids participating in the clinic came from different levels of experience. Some kids were out on the field for the very first time.
“My son plays for the local Little League and he participated in this camp last year. Now my daughter has decided to give it a try. She always wanted to learn how to play baseball but was afraid to give it a shot,” Kim Hale said about daughter Jordan.
The clinic also brought out the more seasoned Little League players who came to fine-tune their skills.
Braylon Whitlock is a current player for the Lehigh Acres Little League. This is his third year playing on the team. For him, the clinic gives him the opportunity to learn from the pros.
“This clinic is a lot of fun. Great to meet the players and learn from them,” Whitlock said.
Following the clinic, all the kids participating were given a baseball and allowed a one-on-one with each Twin player to get an autograph and photo.
According to Van Note, the kids involved in this year’s Lehigh Little League will also get a chance to see the Twins in their first Spring Training game.
The 2020 Spring Training season marks the Twins’ 30th year at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Florida. Single-game tickets for the Twins’ 17-game home spring schedule can be purchased at the Hammond Stadium Box Office beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11.
Twins 2020 Spring Training single-game tickets, along with season, group and “Pick Five Pack” plans, are currently on sale and can be purchased now at twinsbaseball.com, or by calling 800-33-TWINS (800-338-9467) or 612-33-TWINS (612-338-9467).
The Twins will host the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers for an exhibition game on Friday, Feb. 21, at 5:05 p.m. CT (6:05 p.m. ET).
For more information on Lehigh Little League, call 239-303-9530 or visit their Facebook at www.facebook.com /pages/Lehigh-Acres-Little-League/147626948644238