The Yorkton Cardinals of the Western Major Baseball League took time out of their busy schedules on Tuesday, June 10, to help teach young Yorkton and area baseball players skills that will improve their baseball abilities.
Every member of the WMBL Cardinals were present, including Cardinals coach John McVey, who felt that, while the kids loved to be learning baseball skills from the Cardinals players, the Cardinals were equally as excited to be helping the kids improve their baseball skills. “They really enjoy working with the kids,” suggested McVey. “I’ve ran camps in Florida for six years and most of these guys have worked camps at some point and you don’t do that if you don’t like kids.”
Cardinals pitcher Jamie Whitehead echoed McVey’s statement, saying, “It’s great to see the kids come out and really enjoy the time they spend here. We also enjoy the time we spend teaching them the fundamentals of baseball and the ins and outs of the sport.”
But why, all of a sudden, were the Cardinals interested in helping the young Yorkton baseball players? For years Yorkton has had a WMBL team and yet they’ve almost never been out on the field, helping to develop Yorkton’s young baseball players. So why now? According to coach McVey, the answer is easy. “Everyone was afraid to ask for volunteers,” laughed McVey, continuing, “The team has always been interested in helping out, we just haven’t been asked.”
So then who took the initiative to ask the WMBL Cardinals if they would take part in a baseball seminar for the Mosquito aged baseball players? It was Tom Courville, the Director of Mosquito Baseball for the 2014 season that took charge and asked the Cardinals for assistance. “We were talking about having some additional instruction camps as all of our coaches are very good. They have a lot of experience and skills,” said Courville, adding, “but the WMBL players have extremely strong skills so we asked what the chances of having them come out and instruct the kids were and teach them some new things and they were more than happy to come out and help.
“It was great to see them out here helping the kids out and teaching them new skills.”
The skills that the Cardinals taught the young Yorkton baseball players ranged from hitting and fielding, to throwing, pitching and catching. And while it may be tough for parents to get their kids to pay attention, it was very easy for the Cardinals. After all, it was like having celebrities run practice. “They (the kids) look up to them like they’re big leaguers,” said McVey. “It’s a really cool feeling to see these kids look up to these guys and listen so attentively to everything they said.”
As for the WMBL Cardinals, many of them see themselves as role models for the young Yorkton baseball players. “They really look up to us,” mentioned Whitehead. “It’s really important that we give back to the community and kids and teach them everything that we can so that they can become better players and people.”