Baseball in Scarborough is back on the rise, and it’s in promising hands, too.
With the opening of Red Eye Pro Baseball last fall, kids from four and up have a better chance to hone their skills.
Colin Cummins, director of operations and former independent league professional, opened the new training facility to address the growth problems baseball has been struggling with in Toronto.
“We’re trying to give the guys as much of a chance to develop as possible,” said Cummins, who brings more than 12 years of camp experience to the diamond.
“Right now I think there’s a lack of development in Toronto. I want to get us up to standard.”
Cummins believes Etobicoke, North York and Pickering are far ahead of Scarborough. One of the key issues is that the Scarborough Stingers is the sole representative team, and it’s only eight years old.
Once kids reach a certain age, they’re forced to search for opportunities elsewhere or just stop playing seriously. Opportunity means everything for Cummins, who was once a final cut by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
“The goal is to make these kids not feel left behind,” said Cummins.
“They deserve a shot. Even if they don’t make it to the MLB, we want them to continue playing hard nonetheless. There’s always college or independent leagues.”
Jeff Logan registered his 13-year-old son Travis for the facility’s first Complete Player Program, and assists Cummins during some of the training sessions.
“Colin is a great guy,” said Logan.
“He can teach these kids anything they need to know. There’s no doubt in my mind that Colin can take them where they need to go. He has the skills and knowledge to give them everything they need.”
Travis and his peers will practise at Wishing Well Park until the weather forces them inside. But the brand new facility brings 6,000 square feet of training space to use during the winter, including a hitting room and a skills room.
The rooms contain two batting cages, four hitting stations, two pitching mounds, and offer video analysis.
“We’re showing everybody that development is going to change here, and when kids see that, commitment from kids of all ages is going to improve drastically,” said Cummins.
“I look forward to the future.”