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For the past eight years, before the boys of summer hit Spring training in Arizona, Rick Busa’s Youth Sports Foundation in Puerto Peñasco has welcomed professional league coaches to put on a baseball clinic for local youth. This year, more than 120 kids ranging in ages from 7 to 17 took part in the Jan. 30th clinic, getting instruction from the likes of Pete Hartmann, JD Ramirez, Troy Pearce, Carlos Gonzales, and John Monteiro along with local little league coaches under the organization of Alfredo Borboa, Director of the Peñasco Little League, and local Sports Director Marco Rubio. This year’s clinic also brought out Puerto Peñasco mayor Kiko Munro as the day’s activities wound down!
The yearly clinic, which consists of drills involving infield, outfield, pitching, catching and batting before finishing up with the chance to play, has brought over a dozen pro-coaches/players to town over the years, and even had to make due with holding the clinic in the local gym that one year it rained. All for the love of the game!
An additional bonus from the clinic is the donation of sports equipment to local teams, made possible this year through Hartmann, Pearce, donor John Gilchrist, and assistance from Monteiro. Much of this equipment comes from a program Hartmann has called “Bats for Bullets,” which he also promotes in AZ.
In an interview held prior to the recent baseball clinic, Hartmann detailed, “Bats for Bullets is a concept I came up with; everybody loves that because I’m trying to get kids off the streets, from crime, and maybe (out of) a negative environment. And I want the kids to get involved with organized sports. I do “Bats for Bullets” in the states too because it’s the same thing. We love coming down here and helping the community as well where kids can actually follow their aspirations and their dreams, and sit there and go, ‘Yes! I can play baseball, I want to play baseball; I believe in myself’, and getting them off the streets from crime.”
As far as distributing the donated equipment, explained the left-handed pitcher who at one time was drafted by the Rangers and spent time with the Florida Marlins farm club before playing ball internationally from Taiwan to Mexico, “It’s all about helping these kids out. What we’re going to do afterwards is we’re not going to just have a free for all for all the used, donated equipment that came down – it’s going to be actually brought to each team individually as far as what they need.”
“What would you like to see for next year?” I asked Pete as we finished up our pre-clinic meet & greet on the swings at local sponsor BooBar, “Do you want to continue?”
“Absolutely! It’s a no brainer to come down here, it’s just a matter of getting the word out more into the community here. …and getting coaches down here,” he responded, “What we’re going to need is sponsors, and that’s all about helping the community out, understanding and respecting we’re actually doing a great thing for these kids.”
Rick Busa, whose Youth Sports Foundation has been active over the years in providing equipment to local sports teams, uniforms, and of course putting on this yearly baseball clinic, expressed “This is our 8th year and every year it’s getting bigger and better. The people that have been pitching in have been great! There is a whole list of sponsors who have been pitching in to make this a reality, not just a dream but a reality.”
Busa added his appreciation for this year’s sponsors: The City of Puerto Peñasco, The Youth Sports Foundation of Puerto Penasco (YSF), Rocky Point 360, Boo Bar, Max’s, Rotary Club (CR Mar de Peñasco, A.C.), Pro Alliance Insurance, Las Palomas, Sonoran Resorts, Oceáno, and the Satisfied Frog. Thank you to Aquí es con Flavio and Mare Blu for providing great team meals for the coaches! Plus, as our usual photographer could not make this year’s clinic, thanks to our fantastic pitch hitter photographer Mark Olszewski from Peñasco Rocks.
For more information, please contact:
Youth Sports Foundation – Rick Busa: 480-463-3412, 638-105-5250 or email email@example.com.
Bats for Bullets – Pete Hartmann: 602-705-5698 firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Gallery –> 8th Annual Major League Coaches Clinic