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Building With Baseball

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It could be a winning strategy. Sports fans in Georgia have reclaimed an abandoned building and created what could be a field of dreams for young baseball players.  Reed Galin reports.

 
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(Locator: Brunswick, GA)

Ryan Good / 11-Year-Old: ‘It’s very fun.  I’ve got all the coaches here teaching me how to hit the ball better and pitch the ball better.”

Coach to player: “Straight down the ball.”

Paxton Shuman / 11-Year-Old: “I think it was a great idea to build this place.”

First United Methodist Church turned this empty building in Brunswick, Georgia into an indoor training field for youth baseball.

The Rev. Richard Turner / Pastor, First United Methodist Church: “I was excited about it.  Because as a youngster, I played baseball and remembered what it meant to me.”

It’s next door to the church in a downtown neighborhood that has few healthy recreational options for young people.  So the church pitched up a new ministry.

Cricket Mobley / Member, First United Methodist Church: “When you and I were kids, we played ball in the backyard every day.  Well, they don’t get that nowadays in a lot of places.  Some of them don’t even have backyards.”

Sports helped mold Cricket Mobley’s character—now he’s using the same lessons to help a new generation.

Coach leads exercise: “Short and small circles forward.  Keep going.”

Bob Black / Baseball Coach: “I tell these kids if you’ve got the discipline to hang in there on an 80-mile-an-hour curve ball, then you’ve got the discipline to not steal that candy or not cheat on that test.”

Coach instructs: “Let me show you.  Right here.”

All the coaches see themselves as role models for hundreds of youth using the facility.

Nathan Harsh / 12-Year-Old Player: “You can trust these people and they’ll lead you in the right direction.  Just follow them.”

Coach to group: “Give yourselves a hand.”

This teamwork, coaches and players feel, can make their own "home base” a better place.

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The training complex was built with about $8,000 in donations.  And church members are hoping to expand the program in the years to come.

For more information, contact First United Methodist Church at 912-265-4313.