Building With Baseball
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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.
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.