This Greatest Game Baseball Academy (GGBA) presents its 4th annual free clinics dedicated to teaching local boys and girls the more advanced aspects of the game. GGBA is the culmination of nearly a thousand hours of volunteer effort to build a top-notch organization which can serve the community for many years to come. The San Francisco Giants, the Oakland Athletics, West Coast Sports, Square Bar, Greenburg Trauig, Bishop O’Dowd High School and other generous organizations provide ongoing support so that the kids have camp T-shirts, fields and insurance, top level coaching, snacks and lunch and, in some cases, even a new glove or bat.
Founded and directed by former O’Dowd varsity players who were passionate about baseball, GGBA’s mission is to give kids in the East Bay more equal opportunity to advance their skills and stay in the game. When the founders learned that only 8% of baseball players continue to play in high school, due in large part to cost and inaccessibility of advanced training, they decided to create an organization to help solve this problem.
The organization and clinics are built around bringing together an immense level of coaching and resources to make a meaningful impact on a young player’s baseball life. Current O’Dowd baseball players, seniors Wyatt Thompson, Matthias Haas, are directing the camp this year and manage all aspects of the camps, partnering with a rotating cadre of high school varsity coaches and O’Dowd varsity baseball players at each camp, including Sebastian Camacho, Will Sherer and PJ Carney. Instruction goes beyond just how to position gloves or come up for a throw. The finer nuances of how to interact with coaches, project confidence and effectively showcase one’s skills are also discussed. “The kids learn the true meaning of the game, and how to be successful both on and off the field,” Wyatt said.
The program was built for kids to have fun and continue to learn the game while preparing for the upcoming baseball season.
A satisfying moment underscoring GGBA’s purpose was when one of the past participants recently said, “I want you to know that I made my middle school team because of Greatest Game. The clinics made a huge difference and gave me the confidence to tryout.”