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Young baseball players back at the plate

'The kids got to work on skills, get some reps in and develop those three areas of baseball'
20200824 baseball clinic
Coach Vaughn Thomson pitches a wiffle ball to a young batter during the first day of North Bay Minor Baseball Camp. Photo by Chris Dawson/BayToday.

The men's league returned to play earlier this month, so on Monday youth baseball returned to the ballfields at Optimist Park next to Pete Palangio Arena on Wallace Road. 

North Bay Minor Baseball cancelled the season back in the spring, but organizers and coaches felt compelled to try and set up something for young baseball players to do this summer.  

"We started kind of talking about it more towards phase one during COVID-19 because we knew the season was going to get cancelled and there was not enough time, so we decided to have a camp if COVID-19 permitted and give the kids an opportunity to get on the field, otherwise they are going to forget about baseball, they are not going to remember the fun and be stuck on the couch as they have all summer, so we had to give them this opportunity," said Kurtis Winrow, one of the coaches working the youth baseball camp. 

On day one, coaches set up three stations; one for the outfield, the infield and the other for batting. The smiles and the enthusiasm from the players was an indication that everyone was happy to be back on the field. 

"The kids got to work on skills, get some reps in and develop those three areas of baseball," said Winrow. 

As a coach, Winrow was glad to be back on the field too. 

"It was a good day, as we go on we will work on some more difficult skills and we will move forward and try to make everyone a little bit better and make them enjoy the game of baseball," he said. 

Winrow thinks it is important to keep baseball going as the sport has taken a downturn in the past few seasons - especially in the older rep level Stingers baseball teams. 

Winrow, who is a graduate of North Bay Stingers baseball and played OUA baseball at Laurentian University, is one of the young coaches hoping to build more interest back to baseball. 

"We have kind of seen a bit of a decline in baseball in North Bay," admitted Winrow.

"It was a huge part of my childhood and I still now play in the men's league so I just want to try and help rebuild the game and get some more interest in North Bay for the younger kids and make it fun again." 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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