In the fall of 2015, a new family moved to Roosevelt Island with two young boys eager to play baseball, and baseball only. New York City, being very 'seasonal' when it comes to youth sports, was ramping up the fall sport of soccer. The next season, winter, would bring basketball leagues. Not until the spring would the boys be able to play organized baseball again. You'll even have a hard time finding baseball equipment at sporting goods stores in any season other than spring.
Having coached the kids in our local recreational youth baseball leagues, they knew me and asked if I could help organize baseball activity on weekends in the fall. I told them to call their friends and to meet me on the field across from the island school on Sunday morning. If enough kids show up, I'll help organize a game. Kids did show up and we played that Sunday. And we've been playing every Sunday ever since.
We are now running Coach Scot Baseball all year, every Sunday, save some holidays and school breaks. We have two age groups in different time slots, 8 - 10 for 90 minutes followed by 11 - 14 for 2 hours, (although any age kid who wants to play will be given a spot). Kids who age out come back to help coach or umpire. Both sessions begin with warmups and then 30 minutes of fundamentals; drills that build on top of each other each week. Following fundamentals, we create evenly matched teams and we play a game. Kids have to play different positions each inning. During the game, me and some of the other coach volunteers will stop to tweak a kid's stance, point out a good or missed play, explain a rule, or whatever is needed to help kids learn the game.
In the winter months, we play indoors in either the school gym or the Roosevelt Island Sportspark. We adapt our equipment for indoor drills and training. And instead of a baseball game, we end the session with wiffle ball.
In the summer of 2020, when outdoor activities were very scarce, we created a summer workout program. This was a twice-per-week conditioning program, just to keep the kids skills sharp, both baseball skills and social skills. We've also worked in smaller groups with older kids trying to make their school teams or travel teams. We've had some success there as well.
We do not charge for participation, and we encourage anyone who wants to play baseball to join us. We don't say no to anyone. All you need is a glove, and we always have spares if needed. Beginning with the spring 2021 season, the 'fee' will be community services. We are teaming up with Engaged RI, a community initiative to foster environmental understanding and boost sustainability practices on Roosevelt Island. Any kid signing up for Coach Scot Baseball will be encouraged to participate in an Engaged RI activity such as 'plogging', which is cleaning up while jogging, or other island beautification projects.
Our mission is to instruct local youth in the game of baseball, with emphasis on building skills, teamwork, leadership, and collaboration.
Our vision is to teach any interested child how to play baseball, knowing that a positive, encouraging, collaborative sports environment fosters personal growth, builds confidence, and offers joy, and that those tools will encourage kids to continue developing as players, fans, and citizens.