Hundreds of local children in Tampa scored home runs in gaining life lessons during the 12th Annual Tampa Baseball Clinic, a free four-day program that teaches participants baseball fundamentals paired with valuable life skills, hosted by Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation.
The clinic was held at the Police Athletic League and was organized by the Turn 2 Foundation in partnership with the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department.
"By sharing the guiding principles and values that mean so much to Derek and me, and are cornerstones of the Turn 2 Foundation, our baseball clinics help empower hundreds of children to work hard to achieve their goals and lead healthy lifestyles," said Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation. "I'd like to thank our wonderful speaker, Willie Randolph, for offering outstanding guidance and support to our participants, as well as our partners and sponsors for their continued support of our mission."
Wille Randolph -- a six-time MLB All-Star and World Series champion, Silver Slugger Award winner and former New York Yankees co-captain and coach -- served as the special guest speaker at this year's clinic. Following a demonstration of baseball techniques by local coaches, Randolph spoke to the children about the importance of being a team player and placing a strong focus on education.
"I'm excited that Derek and Turn 2 invited me to join this program that gives back to Tampa area youth," said special guest speaker Willie Randolph. "The game of baseball provides so many teachable moments and opportunities to learn important life lessons. The Turn 2 Foundation continues to do great work providing opportunities for youth to learn about healthy lifestyles and making positive choices, and I am proud to play a role in sharing my life lessons on and off the field."
Local coaches taught participants basic baseball fundamentals, such as throwing, hitting, running, catching and fielding techniques. Throughout the clinic, Turn 2 staff also shared essential values taken from Derek Jeter's autobiography, The Life You Imagine, which focuses on guiding today's youth toward positive, healthy choices and behavior.
At the conclusion of the clinic on March 22, participants attended an awards ceremony and banquet along with their family and friends. The children received certificates of completion and gift bags from the Turn 2 Foundation containing items donated by the organization and its sponsor, Haddad Brands.