Bringing America’s pastime to Minnesota youth

More than 2,500 youth from Minnesota pitched, hit and threw during a free clinic offered through a partnership between Great River Energy, the Minnesota Twins and the Twins Community Fund.

The Play Ball! Minnesota Youth Clinics make it more accessible for youth around the state to learn the games of baseball and softball. The 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.

A Twins clinician coaches youth on proper throwing form during the Play Ball! Minnesota Youth Clinic held in Owatonna.

A Twins clinician coaches youth on proper throwing form during the Play Ball! Minnesota Youth Clinic held in Owatonna.

The clinics traveled throughout Twins Territory, which overlaps with the service areas of Great River Energy’s member-owner cooperatives. They were offered in major cities such as Minneapolis and St. Paul, suburbs like Richfield and Eagan, as well as smaller towns such as Elko New Market and Sleepy Eye.

“We strive to provide community support with sponsorships that reflect our values at Great River Energy,” said Andrea Pendergast, communications specialist. “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-owner cooperatives are given an opportunity to apply to host an event in their communities.

Events kicked off in April and continued through mid-July, with 41 total clinics held across the state. Clinics were broken up into two sessions with the first designated for those ages 6 to 9, and the second for those ages 10 to 13. Twins clinicians that coach these sessions are highly skilled and have a strong reputation in the world of baseball.

Sponsorships like this one are part of Great River Gives, a program that unifies all of Great River Energy’s community involvement efforts in Minnesota and North Dakota.