The Xaverian High School Varsity Baseball Team gave back to the community in a big way.
On Wednesday, September 28, head coach Frank Del George provided a free baseball clinic for seventh grade students from Saint Athanasius Catholic Academy, 6120 Bay Parkway.
The coaches and players invited the youngsters to Xaverian’s home ballfield at Shore Road and 74th Street for some drills and lessons.
Pitcher Douglas Johnson discussed the importance of the day and giving back to the kids.
“The kids came down and they used our field for infield practice and took batting practice as well,” he said. “The whole team participated. I was actually injured at the time so I was the one walking around and taking pictures.”
Johnson, who pitched a no-hitter when a member of the JV “A” team as a sophomore earlier this year, was happy to participate even though he couldn’t partake in the drills.
“It was a great experience because seeing my teammates who are all great guys working with these kids that love baseball so much. It was a really nice moment for all of us,” he said. “We hit them ground balls, corrected them as they fielded and then we allowed them to take batting practice.”
As for the kids, the day meant a lot to them “They seemed to really enjoy themselves,” Johnson said. “They were really focused and listened to all the advice we gave them.
“It’s always good when we can help out younger kids because in the city, baseball isn’t as popular as it once was and when we help out these kids like this, it really makes you feel like they’ll go on to play and eventually teach their own kids how to play baseball,” Johnson went on.