Despite snow, Baseball fever heats up
The Minnesota Twins offered local youth the opportunity to hone their baseball skills and get ready for the season ahead at an indoor youth camp in Blaine. Players from Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, and Osseo braved the weather to learn from Twins staff.
The National Sports Center in Blaine was the ideal spot and there was a record turnout.
“We have 183 kids on a Monday at 10:00 a.m.,” said camp instructor K.O. Paulson. “I’ll take that all the time.”
The ballplayers came from all over the Minnesota map – including Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove and Osseo.
“I haven’t played baseball for awhile,” said Aidan Steel of the Osseo-Maple Grove Storm. “It’s really nice to get back.”
Aidan and his pals had a blast.
“I’ve been looking forward to this ever since my dad signed me up,” Aidan said. “Coming here with friends is even better.”
Baseball cram session
For Aidan and the other campers, the day was about having fun and learning the game. It was a baseball cram session smack dab in the middle of winter.
“I’m learning a lot of things,” Aidan said. “Hoping to make a higher team this year now that I’m learning more. Maybe make Triple A.”
There were nine stations at the Sports Center and the players did it all.
“If each kid can learn one or two things in the five hours to take away and use maybe in spring tryouts or maybe use this summer,” Paulson said. “We’re happy with that.”
The kids even picked up some useful tips.
“I learned how to bunt,” said Preston Nelson who plays for the Brooklyn Park Bulldogs. “If you squeeze the bat at the end you can make the bunt go farther and you’ve got to tilt it and you can’t tip it back.”
Dull thinks the camp will elevate his game.
“It’s going to help me improve,” Brooklyn Park player Christian Dull said. “Get better at hitting and fielding.”
“We told the kids today that we are trying to do the same thing that (Rocco) Baldelli’s doing today,” Paulson said. “The only problem is there (spring training) it is 85 and outside. But, none of the kids seem to mind that.”
The camps are run by Erik Lovdahl, who also is a batting practice pitcher for the Twins.