by Dennis Dalman
Boys and girls will have a chance to polish their softball/baseball skills, with the help of professional experts, at a skills clinic set for Sartell.
The 52nd annual “Play Ball!” skills clinic will take place Friday, July 6 on the grounds of Sartell Middle School. There will be two 90-minute clinics and both are free for all children. The first clinic, at 2 p.m., will be for children ages 6 through 9. The second clinic, to start at 3:30 p.m., is for children 10 through 16. Children do not have to register; they can just show up. Although equipment such as bats and balls will be provided, children should — if they have them — bring their own baseball mitts.
Play Ball! clinics were founded in 1961 by Twins scout Angelo Giuliani in hundreds of places in the Upper Midwest and in Southwest Florida. Since then, more than 800,000 boys and girls have honed their skills at the camps.
The youthful participants learn such skills as hitting, fielding, pitching and throwing. They also learn some safey tips and positive messages about staying in school and avoiding drugs and alcohol. The current format of the clinics was developed by Twins General Manager Terry Ryan and former Twins executive Bob Gebhard.
The instructors of the clinics are former players, coaches, scouts and teachers. There will be a team of three or four instructors at each clinic. They will divide the students into teams that will then practice at various skill stations.
Such clinics will be held in about three dozen Minnesota cities and towns throughout the coming summer.