Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association Brings Legends for Youth Baseball Clinic Series to New Zealand
Colorado Springs, Colo. – New Zealand youth will have an opportunity to play with former Minnesota Twins star Jim Kaat at the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) Legends for Youth baseball clinic series. During the first few weeks of January, Kaat will be joined in his efforts by current New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius. This will be the MLBPAA’s first trip to New Zealand since the Legends for Youth baseball clinic series’ induction. Kaat pitched in the Major Leagues for parts of 25 seasons, has won 16 Gold Glove awards and is a three-time All-Star. A World Series champion, Kaat finished his career with 283 wins. In addition to his playing career, Kaat became a familiar voice as a broadcaster for 22 years, calling games for the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins. Gregorius, who was acquired by the Yankees prior to the 2015 season, has posted a .260 batting average, 42 home runs and 451 hits during his five years in the Major Leagues.
Kaat hopes to see more support from the MLB in the future growth of baseball in New Zealand. Not only will Kaat lead youth clinics, but he also plans to host coaching sessions.
The clinics will take place in several cities across the country including Auckland, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Wellington.
“The number one thing I hope to do is to encourage and motivate young people to play the game,” Kaat said. “If New Zealand can increase the participation in baseball, it will create interest from colleges and professional scouts while also motivating local companies, possibly the government and MLB International to build facilities where young people can play on regulation-size fields.”
Kaat will provide instruction, primarily in pitching and coaching, for local youth ages 6 – 16. The clinics will conclude with an autograph session for children in attendance.
To keep up with Jim Kaat’s travels in New Zealand, follow his Twitter handle @KaatJim or search #KiwiKaat.
About The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA)
MLBPAA was founded in 1982 with the mission of promoting baseball, raising money for charity and protecting the dignity of the game through its Alumni players. The MLBPAA is headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO with a membership of more than 7,600, of which approximately 5,600 are Alumni and active players. Alumni players find the MLBPAA to be a vital tool to become involved in charity and community philanthropy. Follow @MLBPAA for Twitter updates.
About Legends for Youth Clinics
MLBPAA’s Legends for Youth clinics impact more than 15,000 children each year, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball. The MLBPAA has reached children across America and internationally in Australia, Canada, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, Nicaragua, the United Kingdom and Venezuela, through the Legends for Youth clinic series. To donate to this program, visit baseballalumni.com/donate. The official hashtag of the Legends for Youth clinic series is #LFYClinic.