Desmond Visits Prince George’s County Youth Baseball Clinic
On Saturday, July 31, Washington Nationals Shortstop Ian Desmond altered his game day routine to visit children participating in the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Department of Parks and Recreation (M-NCPPC) Youth Baseball Clinic at Cosca Regional Park in Clinton, Md.
“It’s great. You can see it on their faces that they were excited to see me,” Desmond said. “Everything I say they are absorbing. There is no better feeling in the world than that.”
With support from the Washington Nationals, the free clinic was run by the M-NCPPC and a group of community leaders known as Leadership Prince George’s. Children ages seven to 15 participated in the clinic conducted by former Major League Baseball players and local high school coaches.
Desmond’s appearance at the clinic is a continuation of the collaboration between the Nationals and the M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation. The partnership aims at developing youth baseball and softball in Prince George’s County. The M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation was also the recipient of the 2010 Washington Nationals Baseball Equipment Drive.
“We were very excited to have Ian Desmond out here with the kids in Prince George’s County,” said former Major Leaguer Steven Carter of M-NCPPC Department of Parks and Recreation. “It was a great day and Desmond was very interactive. It’s good to have a Major League Baseball player like that giving back.”
The children participated in defensive drills, fielding ground balls and turning double plays. One of the participants, a seven-year-old boy named Ryan, paid especially close attention to Desmond’s lessons and fundamentals.
“He taught me when the ball is on the ground, you get your glove in the dirt, and when you pick it up, bring it to your belly button, then you throw it,” Ryan said. “I was excited that he came here to see us do stuff, and when he told us how to do stuff, I was thinking I could try it in my backyard.”
For Desmond, the day reminded him of the clinics he attended as a child.
“It brings me back to when I was a kid, coming out and doing camps with some Minor Leaguers and Big Leaguers,” Desmond said. “It shaped the path for me today, and it’s good for me to give back.”
His main message to the children: “Just play hard and have fun. To this day, I try and go out there and play as hard as I can and make sure every day is fun.”