Bringing America’s pastime to Minnesota communities

Twins Clinic McLeod

About 80 youth participated in the clinic held Saturday, May 27, co-hosted by McLeod Cooperative Power Association and the Arlington Baseball Association, along with assistance from the Arlington A’s players. Great River Energy provided red backpacks for participants, while McLeod Cooperative Power gave away baseballs and Locher Bros. Distributing provided water for the event. Photo courtesy of Katie Ide.

For more than a decade, Great River Energy has partnered with the Minnesota Twins and the Twins Community Fund to make it more accessible for youth around the state to learn the games of baseball and softball.

Play Ball! Minnesota Youth Clinics were created in 1961 by longtime Twins scout Angelo Giuliana and offer youth ages 6 to 13 a free opportunity to pitch and hit in their own neighborhoods with guidance from knowledgeable coaches. Past instructors have included Erik Lovdahl, the Twins’ batting practice pitcher, and Jon Wilkens, assistant baseball coach at Northwestern College.

The clinics travel throughout Twins Territory, which overlaps with Great River Energy’s members’ service areas. They are offered in major cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, suburbs like Eden Prairie and Chanhassen, as well as smaller towns such as Welcome and Pierz.

“We strive to provide community support with sponsorships that reflect our values,” said Andrea Pendergast, communications coordinator at Great River Energy. “We’re proud to partner with the Minnesota Twins to host these free family events that bring communities together.”

As a presenting sponsor of the clinics, Great River Energy is able to give input on where the clinics are held, and its 28 member cooperatives are given an opportunity to apply to host an event in their communities. Dakota Electric Association, McLeod Cooperative Power Association and Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative Electrical Association will each host a Play Ball! clinic this year.

Events kicked off in May and continue through early August.