The baseball world had its eyes fixed upon the Washington, D.C. area this past week, as team executives and managers from all of Major League Baseball met at National Harbor for the 2016 Winter Meetings. A lot happened in those meetings, including blockbuster trades and free-agent signings, but, what’s a baseball event without letting the kids play?
MLB’s “Play Ball” initiative invited 200 students from the D.C. area to a youth clinic at the Gallaudet University gym in Northeast Washington, D.C. on Tuesday night in an event attended by (among others) Cubs Manager Joe Maddon, MLB Vice President of social responsibility and inclusion Billy Bean, and Nationals Manager Dusty Baker.
(Dusty was a busy man this week — in addition to the “Play Ball” event, he was present at the Winter Meetings, and also visited the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy in Southeast Washington on Wednesday.)
Baker spoke to a group of parents at the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Parent Station, talking about the finer points of coaching and his experiences with youth teams — both being on them, and coaching them.
“My dad cut me from his little league team when I was 8, 9, and 10, because he said I had a bad attitude,” Baker said. “And so when I work with little kids, I remember those lessons my dad used to tell me about attitude.”