The opportunity to pass along his knowledge to elementary school students brought Mets third baseman Brett Baty to All Sportz in Melville, where 130 children took part in his baseball clinic on Monday.
“It’s awesome to be able to help out little kids,” Baty said. “My mom was an elementary school principal, so I’ve always loved helping out the elementary school kids.”
As Baty made his way to the front of the crowd of kindergarten through sixth-graders, chants of “Brett!” and “Let’s go Mets!” could be heard.
The children participated in drills, receiving tips from Baty along the way. Each group participated in a brief Q&A with Baty before making its way over to the next station.
“I’m just telling them what I learned at their age, get in front of the ball and use two hands,” Baty said. “At this age, it is pretty simple; you’ve got to catch the baseball and field it.”
The clinic was organized by Pioneer Sports and the Massapequa PAL. Pioneer Sports runs youth clinics throughout New York, working with various New York professional sports teams.
“A portion of proceeds are donated to the community, the PAL and back to these kids,” said Tom Falcone, co-founder of Pioneer Sports. “We try to bring a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to the youth of New York. We started 13 years ago and tried to figure out how we could give back to the community.”
Baty, one of the younger players on the Mets, remembers a time when he was in the same position and was thrilled by the experience of meeting a major-leaguer.
“I was at a camp when I was younger and Jose Altuve showed up,” Baty said. “He helped us do some infield and hitting stuff. That was really cool for me, and to be able to give back like this is a great experience.”
Baty and the Mets have not had the success they hoped for this season. He struggled and was sent to Triple-A in August but didn’t let it affect his confidence. Baty’s bat has shown positive signs since his recall, as he has picked up seven hits in his last six games.
“It just didn’t go the way I wanted for the first couple of months,” Baty said. “That’s part of the game; it’s a game of failures. I went down and came back up looking to be a hardworking and consistent player.”
The Mets have had an influx of young talent that includes Francisco Alvarez, Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos. Baty is familiar with each through their minor-league days.
“We’ve played together for a while now and have been able to help each other out,” he said. “We’ve really created a bond over the years.”