Local youth met with former Black MLB players at Henry HS. Credit: Photo courtesy of Minnesota Twin

A couple of weeks ago, the Minnesota Twins held several events specifically for youth, and especially for Black youth.

An estimated 200 boys and girls from the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota participated in a “Twins Youth Takeover” game in Bloomington. There was also a day-long leadership academy for 100 high school students at the Twins ballpark, evenly split between baseball and softball players. A “Future Mentorship” clinic was held at Minneapolis Henry High School for 20 Black high school baseball and softball players from Henry and Minneapolis North. 

The purpose of the events was to get more Blacks in baseball, both on and off the field. Current Twins officials such as Third Base Coach Tommy Watkins, Twins President Dave St. Peter and other members of the team participated.

“Education has always been a primary community commitment for the Minnesota Twins,” declared Kristin Rortvedt, the team’s senior director of community engagement and Twins Community Fund executive director. “It absolutely is very intentional for us to try to connect groups of kids who maybe aren’t exposed to baseball as much as other communities,” she told the MSR. “So, we’re excited to be able to offer all these different kinds of events for kids.”

Former and current Major League Baseball players, Twins front office staff and others met with Black youth for the Future Mentorship clinic, an initiative of The Players Alliance, a growing group of current and retired African American players and people of color, MLB and Minor League Baseball players, that are dedicated to getting the Black community more involved in baseball. The morning session, on August 19, was dedicated to “guided conversations” covering the pressures of play, and the discomfort of being “the only” person of color on their teams.

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