Former Met Chavez instructs next generation at Baseball World clinic
Updated 6:04 pm, Wednesday, July 6, 2016
WESTPORT — With almost nearly years of professional baseball experience, Endy Chavez has a wealth of information to pass onto the next generation. On Wednesday at Bedford Middle School, the current Bridgeport Bluefish outfielder lent a hand to a group of Westport youngsters as part of a popular summer instructional camp.
Chavez became the latest professional to take part of Baseball World’s Training School, assisting in offering instruction to dozens of kids dreaming of one day reaching the pinnacle of the sport.
The former New York Met assisted in hitting drills, took batting practice — which included hitting a home run that was met with joy from the group — and signed autographs.
“Endy was tremendous,” said Baseball World director Vince Diaco. “He broke down the skills into small pieces and brought it together at the end, which is important because the players here are aged 5-15. He knows how to break down the skills and fundamentals of the game and talk about the psychological side of baseball.”
Chavez, 38, spent 13 seasons in the majors, last appearing for the Seattle Mariners in 2014. In 36 games for the Bluefish, Chavez is hitting .329 with 14 RBI and 15 runs scored. He has 13 hits in his last eight games.
“It’s been awesome,” Chavez said. “I’m enjoying it; all of this is a new experience for me in a positive way. I’m happy to be back on the field playing the sport that I love and I’m enjoying it the most.”
Chavez hoped that regardless of what the attendees choose to do as adults, they do so with the same discipline that drove him to the top.
“Whatever they want to with their life they will hopefully do it with passion, dedication and discipline, which is very important for anything they want to do,” Chavez said. “The goals they have will hopefully lead to positive results.”
Passion for the sport is what has kept Chavez on the diamond as he performs in his late 30s looking for one more chance at the big leagues. For now, though, he is focused on continuing his hot start with the Bluefish, who sit at 32-40.
“I’m looking be in shape again and stay healthy, and show to myself that I can still play the game,” Chavez said.
Baseball World runs five sessions — that runs from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from Monday to Friday — and focuses on all aspects of the game through its high-quality instruction from both staff members and guest instructors. Now in its 16th summer, Baseball World has firmly established its roots among Westport’s youth.
“It’s been tremendous special with the baking of Major League Baseball,” Diaco said. “The support from the Westport Public Schools has been tremendous. This just isn’t thrown together; there ae a lot of people doing a lot of things behind the scenes.”