Hours before gates open at Banner Island Ballpark, prior to a 7:05 p.m. first pitch, local coaches were able to step inside the front gates for a lesson of a lifetime. The coaches look around in awe at the ballpark, hoping their young, developing players can make it to that level one day with the help and guidance of their coaching.
Once everyone was in the ballpark, all the coaches were led down to the Ports dugout. Not just anyone gets the chance to be in a minor league dugout. It is a close, rare look at the field that only the players and coaches have the chance to experience. Once in the dugout, the men were greeted by Stockton Ports Manager Steve Scarsone.
Scarsone has been in the baseball world for a long time and had a lot of great coaching advice to give the local coaches…Don’t focus so much on the upper part, make sure your lower half does most of the work, take playing catch seriously, have them do drills, and most importantly, explain to them why. That is just some of the advice that Scarsone bestowed upon the coaches in the hour session they had in the dugout. The men asked questions and received detailed answers and examples from the seasoned coach.
After the hour talk was finished, Scarsone had to get back to batting practice with his team. The coaches weren’t finished yet, though. The men were then led behind homeplate and were able to watch a minor league batting practice up close and personal. Scarsone was still there to answer any questions that the coaches had.
In order for the coaches to attend the Ports Coaches Clinic, they had to purchase a ticket to that night’s game against the Bakersfield Blaze. So once their coaching lesson was over, their minor league experience continued with the Ports game. They were able to see all of Scarsone’s coaching advice play out right in front of them on the field.