America’s pastime is in full swing in New Rochelle at the A-Game Sports summer baseball camp.
“It’s really great!” one of the kids said.
For six weeks, about two dozen young players learn how to field, hit and pitch.
“The camp is for boys and girls, seven to 14.” Darin Feldman, co-founder of A-Game Sports.
It’s all possible through a new organization started by two guys, Darin Feldman and Kevin Plein.
They both traded in their suits for sweats.
“I was on Wall Street for close to 20 years,” Darin said. “[It] finally came towards the end of 2013, and the frustrations started to increase for both of us and so he left his respected job and I left mine and we decided to launch A-Game sports in November 2013.”
And with some help from the community, they were able to give out several camp scholarships.
“Excelente!” Fabrizio said.
10-year-old Fabrizio is one of those recipients.Darin met him through a local church, Refuge of Hope.
“[His] father showed me a video of Fabrizio playing baseball in Venezuela and my eyes just lit up.” Darin said.
“The amazing part, he just came to this country 7 weeks ago,” Jenny Games, who translated for Fabrizio, said.
This week was extra special though.
Yankees legend Mariano Rivera showed up at Flowers Park at City Park ready to play and teach.
”I have great satisfaction working with these youngsters,” Mariano said. “Being able to teach a little bit and have fun with them.”
Mariano and his wife, Clara, founded the Refuge of Hope church in their home in 2009.
And many kids got one on one pitching advice from him.
“It was pretty cool!” Nico Andrews said,
“He like told me to bring my knee up all the way,” Emily Chin said. “And when I finish, to bring my leg all the way to the front.”
But, this camp isn’t all work and no play.
“Once a week we leave here and we go on a field trip to either minor league or major league game,” Darin said. “The kids love it, it gives them an appreciation for the game at a high level of play”
All kids with different ages, backgrounds and levels of talent, but on this field, they’re all speaking the same language.
“It’s everybody together, enjoying, loving the game of baseball,” Mariano said.
And they’re leaving with new skills, lifelong memories and a big league friend.
A-Game Sports will be spearheading more clinics and camps throughout the year and plan to open a sports and training facility later this fall.
PRODUCED BY: KIM PESTALOZZI