The Potter Baseball Tour—started by Jeff Potter, a 1972 sixth-round draft pick of the Detroit Tigers—is a program dedicated to letting baseball players play the game they love while demonstrating the importance of community service and charity work.
The author of a book called Whatever Happened To Baseball?, Potter believes that baseball has been on a downward spiral for decades. "Youth baseball is in bad shape," he says. "[It] used to be all about having fun, competing and good mentoring." Now, he argues, it's all about money and showcasing.
Entering its third year, the Potter Tour takes athletes on a three-week jaunt through various towns in America to play baseball and volunteer. Although many of the players come from the visited towns, there is no geographical limit to who can join the Tour.
During the Tour, athletes play baseball and run clinics for local teams. But the idea is not to pit one team against another. It's to enjoy playing the game. Constant competition can be draining (just ask any three-sport athlete), and playing a sport for sheer fun reminds athletes why they love the game.
At the conclusion of the game in each town, the players give back to the community. In Butler, Pa., after connecting with an old friend who coaches volleyball at Butler High School, Potter learned that one of his friend's former players had been diagnosed with cancer. The tour hosted a volleyball tournament that raised over $4,000 to cover some of the girl's medical expenses.
The Potter Baseball Tour demonstrates the importance of being a well-rounded athlete. By balancing athletics with volunteerism and community service, high school athletes can gain gratificati0n from helping others and cultivate a lasting love of America's pasttime.
Interested? Male baseball players between the ages of 13 and 16 can join. Start by filling out a player application. Potter may personally visit you and your family to see if his program is a good fit.
Read more about the program and the athletes involved at potterbaseball.com.
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