State College Spikes

Spikes look to help grow baseball locally with annual youth clinic

The State College Spikes are holding a youth baseball clinic at 11 a.m. Saturday at Medlar Field. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the game against the Black Bears that evening.
The State College Spikes are holding a youth baseball clinic at 11 a.m. Saturday at Medlar Field. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the game against the Black Bears that evening. Photo provided

On Saturday, local youth baseball players will have the opportunity to learn from the pros.

The State College Spikes will be hosting a youth baseball clinic, where kids can learn and practice baseball with the minor league players.

Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to the 7:05 p.m. game against the Black Bears. The two-hour clinic begins at 11 a.m. at Medlar Field and allows kids to practice with the Spikes at four different stations: pitching, base running, fielding and hitting.

“It’s an opportunity to get up close and have personal one on one time with the Spikes players, to learn from the pros and to have a fun time learning the game of baseball,” said Joe Putnam, communications manager for the Spikes. “The players, they enjoy doing it because it hearkens back to their own youth when they were learning the game.”

Holding the youth clinic allows the Spikes to go beyond being an entertainment product for central Pennsylvania, and make their mark on the community by growing the game of baseball in the area.

“Baseball talent has declined over the years,” Putnam said. “We would certainly like to reverse that trend and see more players play the game. It’s a game we love and we want to do our part to keep the game going.”

Furthermore, this clinic will give Spikes players an opportunity to connect with the Centre County community.

With the transient nature of minor league baseball, players don’t always get to know the fans and the culture of the team they’re playing for.

“We want to give our players a chance to interact with the community, as well, because so often we hear from players that they really enjoy their time playing in front of the fans,” Putnam said. “So this is a chance to meet some of their fans and make an impact in central Pa. while they’re here.”

The Spikes have held an annual clinic for young fans since the team’s inception in 2006. This year’s event will be hosted by Penn State Health Medical Group.

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