March is here and that means one thing…..baseball season is starting. Now if we can just get some warmer weather and get rid of the snow it would help a great deal. Continue working on getting your body and mind prepared for the season!
REMINDER – We are having a March 24th camp at Kellogg Middle School from 9-noon. ALL Klouters are expected to attend. The cost for Klouters is $50.00 per player or $75.00 per family.
This is a very important camp for new Klouters and the 8 and 9U teams MUST be there. Please do pass this on to any 8Us and 11Us that you may know as we need 1-2 more for the ball club.
Also remember there will be two summer camps at Medina Elementary this summer. One from July 8th to the 12th and one from August 12th to the 16th.
PLEASE read the letter and the attachments. There are some great pictures of the 9u team at the indoor tournament in Centralia. Being a Klouter is being responsible, in-the-know, and being accountable..FAW!! WNM!!
Thanks and see you soon, Coach Phil
Many of you that receive this monthly musing realize that the FirstSwing Foundation has very aggressive and progressive programs that are dedicated to youngsters of all ages, abilities, and sexes. Each year at this time we send a reminder to all as to what we do and how we do it. Next month we will be sending our 11th “Baseball Connect” team to Hanoi Vietnam to work with schools, the community, and our dear friends at the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club to increase the popularity of the game and help those less fortunate in improving their life skills.
This month I have attached two(2) documents as I am not computer savvy enough to unite them as a singular one..sorry! Please read the March Intelligence first. The second will recap our experiences with “Baseball Connect” and give you a clearer idea as why the love of the game is the REAL value of baseball.
This is the time of year we work hard to raise money and ask you, our “teammates”, to help us in any way you can. We are constantly looking for sponsors, grants, auction items, and of course any other financial support that you may render. We are in need of sports posters(especially baseball) and vintage baseball cards, as well as unique items for gifts to our organizations in “Baseball Connect”.
THANK YOU for being our special friends and for all the support you have provided in the past..
GAGPTH! and KWTP!
Sam is with Bezo’s space company, Blue Origin…we made it to outer space….oh, what a feeling!! GAGPTH!
Today a piece of First Swing crossed the Karman Line (where space is considered to begin)!
I was able to get a small First Swing object (I’ll keep the specifics a surprise) on the payload of our Blue Origin New Shepard Rocket that took off at 7am PST this morning.\
It’s been waiting to launch since early Dec, and I’m glad report it made it back safely!
Here’s a link to you watch the replay:
Below is a great video of two icons taking batting practice:
Subject: 1931 – Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig batting practice (60fps + slow motion) – YouTube
PLEASE read the letter and the attachments..being a Klouter is being responsible, in-the-know, and being accountable..FAW!! WNM!!
Thanks and see you soon, Coach Phil
January 2019 Newsletter
TO ALL KLOUTERS: Happy New Year! Please read the attached as it has very important information regarding Klouter baseball and our 2019 schedule of tourneys and activities.
A number of you missed the very important Holiday camp so we must now begin preparing for the coming LL tryouts and season by getting the arm in shape (throw 3-5 timers per week, for 10 minutes or so)! Also, everyone should be working on running and conditioning…get to it NOW!! Build your strength, eat properly(5 colors) and get proper rest each night!! “Kill the Machines” while you are at it!!
For those of you that have not paid your fees, please do so asap and turn in all pertinent paperwork. Irene works hard at keeping us afloat and you must do YOUR part as well.. Thanks.
PLEASE read the newsletter and the attachments..being a Klouter is being responsible, in-the-know, and being accountable..FAW!! WNM!!
Thanks and see you soon, Coach Phil
Please see the attached Klouter newsletter for December 2018. We have included a few great attachments for you to read. Pay special attention to Kill The Machines! We are constantly inundated with more and more information each day. It’s important to make sure and raise your head to focus on some creativity and enjoy the world around us.
The holiday baseball camp is approaching quickly! Please make every attempt to attend (especially 8u and 9u) and reach out to bring some new campers.
Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Baseball Intelligence December 2018 – “Monikers”
Hope each and everyone has a wonderful Holiday season and a GREAT 2019!! FirstSwing will again be sending a group to Hanoi for our “Baseball Connect” program and continue its mission of helping kids learn the game but most importantly the valuable “lessons of life” inherent in the game. Thanks to all of you who have “stepped up to the plate” and have supported with your generous donations of both time and funds…many kids are enjoying the results!!!! THANK YOU!!
Enjoy this little tribute to all the great nicknames of the game and remember: The game does not change the way you sleep, wash your face, or chew your food; it changes nothing but your life!
Please enjoy the November 2018 Klouter Newsletter. With us nearing the holiday season and being subjected to ever increasing levels of negativity and divisiveness within the media, please take some time to reflect on the good things many people do each day and things you are thankful for. As Klouters, we strive to rise above the rhetoric and respect ourselves and each other. Enjoy the newsletter and additional documents.
Our December 1-2 Camp is coming up very soon. PLEASE make every effort to get to as much of the camp as you can. Also, do help us find more campers and remember you will receive a $25.00 credit for each new camper referred or that you bring with you!!! Tell your friends and please pass on the word at school!!
Please see the October 2018 Klouter Newsletter. Please take a look at all of the attachments and specifically the Advantages Klouters.
Why you always “run it out”
Please see the attached .mov file. This is priceless and a true “lesson”.
Greatest BB Play
This quick greatest play U-Tube shows a few things to be noted. Number 1..patience is a virtue on both offense and defense..the fewer throws the better! Secondly the catcher is wearing the other-hand glove as we did back in the day! Do not need a perfect glove..heck, we all know that woodie is the best anyway! Lastly, if not sure how many outs keeping tagging runners until there are no more..GAGPTH!
As we all know and realize, baseball is more than a simple game..it is a passion, mania, a love of intangibles, and an escape from the vagaries of real life! It works the mind and has something for everybody, especially those who love just playing it!
This short “burst” of energy is to remind us how coooool the game is and why it beats all the others.
Please also take some time to read this article on Mark Rypien….
Finally, a reminder that our last camp is coming up soon..August 13-17th!! Please reach out to Coach Phil for any questions.
Enjoy and do send other “cool things” if you feel so inclined..GAGPTH! Phil
Please take a look at our Klouter Newsletter for July 2018, also take a few minutes to check out the links below!
Congratulations to Evan Ryan who came in third at the Pitch, Hit and Run for his age group and kept it competitive. Fellow Gonzaga grad Marco Gonzales was the player rep who met all the kids. Evan surely liked that (us too)!
Here is a great picture of Dominic Gonzalez with coach Joel in Spokane in the middle of June!
Reason why it’s always important to know where you are going with the ball on every pitch
Below is an snippet from a great article about Aaron Judge.
Aaron Judge: Once I committed to Fresno, I was solely focused on baseball. All the way through high school, I was playing three sports and just enjoying it; I wasn’t too serious about any of them. To be honest, I would get tired of the sports. Once it got near the end of football, I’d say, “I can’t wait for basketball season to get here; I’m tired of getting hit every day.” Then once it got to the end of basketball, it was, “I’m tired of running up and down the court; when does baseball start?” Then when baseball was deep in the season, I would start getting excited for football again. It was a cycle. I think that helps me now, because it’s still fresh for me; I’m not worn out from playing 8-and-under travel ball when I was a kid.
Heroes of Baseball Memorial weekend Tourney Schedule-Rules
Below are links to the schedule for the Heroes of Baseball Memorial Tourney and rules.
Everyone’s questions nowadays are about bats. We will follow the USA Bat Standard for 12U and under. Quite simply, if it doesn’t have the USA bat Logo Stamp on it, it is Illegal. Here is a link: https://usabat.com/faq/
Note…USA bat standard is what is used by all of the following organizations for 13 year old and under. Please contact us if you have any questions or need further information.
We look forward to seeing you soon!
KLOUTER NEWSLETTER – May 2018
I hope May brings everyone a winning season and fun in the sun. Our Klouter teams begin their summer season on Memorial weekend and are ready to rock. The 2018 “Baseball Connect” team enjoyed a fun-packed 8 days in Hanoi and helped thousands of youngsters learn the game and the inherent “life lessons” within the game.
Enjoy the Newsletter and B-IQ and GAGPTH!
Heroes of Everett Annual Baseball Tournaments
Summer of 2018– Phil Johnson Ball Fields
The FirstSwing Foundation (federal 501c3 non-profit) is proud to announce the Heroes of Everett Baseball Tournaments for the summer of 2018. The youth tournaments will take place at Phil Johnson ball fields(turf infields) in Everett.
Although each tourney is different, the age groups will be 8-12U; April 1st being the cutoff date for age. Each participating team will be guaranteed four (4) games. Generally, there will be four to eight (8) teams in each age division, depending upon registration. Each team will play all the teams in their bracket in a round robin format with the top two teams two advancing to the Championship Bracket. Each tournament will be different, although modified Little League rules(except the All Star Warm up-regular LL rules) will apply and ALL players will bat. NEW bat regulations will be allowed.
There is ample parking and a convenient concession stand, as well as nearby coffee houses!
The intent of each tournament is to promote youth baseball while enjoying the spirit of competition and the game of baseball. FirstSwing has sponsored tournaments for over 25 years and prides itself in providing a safe and educational environment for kids to play baseball and learn many of “life’s little lessons”.
- Heroes of Baseball Memorial Tourney: May 25-28 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
- 2018 All Star Warm Up: June 15-17 Ages 10,11,12(Birth dates are LL regulation)
- The “3 Earls of Everett” I: July 20-22 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
- The “3 Earls of Everett” II: July 27-29 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
- The Everett Invitational: August 17-19 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11U, 12U(12U will be 50/70’)
- “Last Licks”: Labor Day Weekend: Aug 30-Sep 3 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U (12U 50/70’)
Cost: $500 per team as a donation to the FirstSwingFoundation; Microsoft/Boeing/Nordstrom matching is available for the donation. To sign your team up for the tournament, please contact Phil Rognier at (425)451-8276 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the FirstSwing Foundation please visit firstswingbaseball.org; we offer baseball and softball camps ALL summer as well as clinics and other FUN baseball activities!!
“Baseball cannot change the world, BUT it can change a youngster’s life!”
KLOUTER NEWSLETTER – March 2018
Below is the latest version of the Klouter Newsletter. Please take time and read the additional documents.
We also have a last call to get campers to the March 18th camp. Please check with all of your contacts and see if we can get a few more to the camp!!!
Also, please support Clif bars (z-bars) as they have provided us with another year of camp snacks!!
Ernie Banks: Please read the profile as it emphasizes the need for a lighter bat in order to increase hand/bat speed and even power!!
The Vietnam Team is still needs support from everyone to continue the fundraising effort as we are now in the final month before the team departs!!!!
THANK YOU CLIF BAR!
Klouters and FirstSwing wants to send a big thank you to Clif Bar for its continued support and friendship. Each year, Z-bars have provided a very welcome and nutritional snack for our spring and summer campers. Our non-profit foundation has grown thanks to companies like Clif Bar.
Please do support their products as they are truly “Friends of FirstSwing”……GAGPTH!
DON’T MISS THE FINAL PRESEASON CAMP – March 18, 2018!
Below is information for the last preseason camp. It will be limited and we need the 8-9-10U Klouters to make EVERY effort to get there!!!! This will focus on pitching, so it is imperative that Klouters get the proper instruction before their LL season begins.
When: March 18, 2018
Where: Kellogg Middle School
Time: 9am -11:30am
Also, please note that the “Baseball Connect” team is working hard to raise funds and we can use YOUR help. Both gofundme.com and the Buy-Donate programs are open and we would love your support!! KWTP!!
All campers, please bring any old gloves, legos, or games with you as we can use these for our programs. There will be a Baseball Surprise auction item as well as a few autographed balls. Your support is truly welcomed and needed!! Thanks
Coach Phil GAGPTH!
KLOUTER NEWSLETTER – February 2018
Below is the latest version of the Klouter Newsletter. Please take time and read each attachment and get your EYE exams!
We also have a last call to get campers this weekend. We are still in need of 5-6 more so please check with all of your contacts and see if we can get a few more to the camp!!!
The Vietnam Team is still needs support from everyone to continue the fundraising effort as we have a couple of months to go!!!!
The current edition of Baseball Intelligence is attached with a few ancillary documents for your perusal…this month the topic is PARENTING!! Hope you enjoy it!
I wish again to ask you for assistance with our “Baseball Connect” 2018 trip..as I mentioned last month, we were hit very hard with the cancellation of the Mariner’s Fan Fest and are working hard to recoup those “lost” monies. You may either donate to First Swing on gofundme.com or simply send a check to FirstSwing, PO Box 497, Medina, WA 98039. Thank you for your consideration and continued support!
PRE-SEASON WORKOUT CAMP/CLINIC – February 11th from 9am-Noon
FirstSwing will have a pre-season workout camp/clinic on February 11, 2018 at Kellogg Middle School from 9am-Noon. This will cover the preparation needed for the coming season with all funds going to the Baseball Connect 2018 team. The cost will be $75 for Klouters old and new.
We need your help spreading the word and getting NEW campers, and helping us raise monies for the trip. A GOFUNDME account has been set up to accept donations. Stay tuned for further details about the camp/clinic.
When: February 11, 2018 from 9 a.m. – Noon
Where: Kellogg Middle School – 16045 25th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155
THANKS AND GAGPTH!!
I hope you will enjoy this month’s edition of B-IQ and a VERY happy holiday season!!!
I have also attached a copy of my different types of balls that I have discovered in the many years I have coached. The list is actually compiled from John Scolinos’ list..the greatest coach in college baseball history..I just made a few changes BUT it is still relevant!!
FirstSwing thanks you for all you do to help others GET GOOD..as a player, student , but most important as a productive citizen. Remember: “Not Dead, Don’t Quit!”
Lastly, I will be sending out a separate email regarding our unique project for 2018..have a great 2018 and of course, GAGPTH! Phil
KLOUTER NEWSLETTER: November 2017
Each November we take a day to express our THANKS for all that we have in our lives! It is a time to be thankful and to be grateful. Each of us has been blessed and need to focus on the positive and work hard to rid ourselves of the negative. Klouter baseball is a culture that allows personal and team growth without the fear of failure and/or condemnation. We look forward to another great year of FUN Ball and competitive times on the diamonds. Team Klouter!!
Find the entire newsletter, November Baseball Intelligence, Thanksgiving camp details and tournament information below:
KLOUTER NEWSLETTER: October, 2017
“Practice, practice, practice, and then PRACTICE!!”
As we prepare for the 2018 Klouter season, it is very important that you contact us in regard to your status for next year. If you are NOT planning to return, please send Coach Phil an email. You need not send one if you are in for 2018!! There will be a number of changes with team size one of the main issues. We will have smaller teams and a few personnel changes. Read the following newsletter and attachments for further details and information ….
With all that is happening in college basketball, I thought it was good time to write a bit about cheating in baseball. Many of you who have played the game will remember many of the tactics used to “get a win”!
Enjoy and GAGPTH!
‘LAST LICKS’ TOURNAMENT INFO
You can find the Last Licks Tournament Schedule here: LAST LICKS 2017
We look forward to seeing all of you for this last tournament of the summer!
We hope you enjoy the last days of summer and this issue of B-IQ…it was written for the “doubters” and those think that other sports may compare..not so!!
Hold Fast and Fight Fiercely..GAGPTH!
“Life is not fair, and neither is baseball!”
FirstSwing Autographed Baseball Grab Bags: 2017
The FirstSwing Foundation is offering a number of “hidden gems”, aka autographed baseballs, in secretive grab bags at this weekend’s tournament. Each grab bag costs $40.
Click on the link above for more details!
SILENT AUCTION LIST
Check out the list of Silent Auction items that will be available this weekend at the 3 Earls of Everett II. There is a large selection of hard to find items, so don’t miss out!
Please email Phil @ email@example.com with any questions.
Don’t Miss Camp This Week!
- July 10th – 14th: Regular & Skills Camp
- Regular Camp 9am – 12pm Monday – Friday
- Skills Camp 1pm – 4pm Tuesday – Thursday
- July 17th – 21st: Regular Camp
- Regular Camp 9am – 12pm Monday – Friday
- August 7th – 11th: Bellevue Camp
- 9am – 12pm Monday – Friday
- PLUS – Tuesday 8th: 1pm – 4pm Skills & Games
July Baseball Intelligence
Hope your summer has begun with sun and great opportunities! Please do read about the ultimate “Dynamic Duo” and the progress of “Baseball Connect” below.
Have a safe and Happy 4th of July! GAGPTH!
ALL KLOUTERS…current, past, and “future”
We are hosting the Vietnamese National team in Everett from June 19-22. This is the original group that we worked with in 2008 and wil be the National team that plays in the World Baseball Classic in 2012. They are a great group and will be coming to visit, play a commemorative game, and to go to some of our local sites. See PRESS RELEASE.
For those of you who have gone with us to Hanoi, it will be a great time to see Tom and Phu and many of the players that you met and worked with while there. For you others, please do come and meet these great kids and coaches/families.
The tentative schedule is: June 19th Arrival with a proposed BBQ, June 20: Workout/camp in the am with a 4-7PM game at Archbishop Murphy HS, June 21 A visit to either Boeing, M/S or other, and then to the M’s game that night. They leave early on the 22nd.
We hope you will all be able to participate on some level and meet our friends form VN! Bong Chay has connected us and you are part of this very unique experience!
We need any help you can provide with gifts, especially ones that are indigenous to the North west, and any special ideas you may have.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, we need help with getting a special rate at a local hotel and help finding someone at the M’s who might help getting us a suite. Last time, in 2011, they were hosted by the M’s but we do not have any “ins” there any more.
Thanks and please do help us make their stay fun, pleasurable, and memorable. KWTP!
REMAINING 2017 SUMMER TOURNAMENTS
The “3 Earls of Everett” I: July 21-23 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
The “3 Earls of Everett” II: July 28-30 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
The Everett Invitational: August 18-20 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11U, 12U
“Last Licks”: Labor Day Weekend: Sept 1-4 Ages 8, 9, 10, 11, 12U
Memorial Day Weekend Tournament Schedules
Below are the updated Memorial Day tournament schedules! Please see the links below and let your coach(es) know if you will or will not be attending.
Our first tourney will be in three weeks, May 26-29th and the full schedule will be posted soon. In the meantime, you can get caught up on all things Klouters by reading the May Newsletter found here.
April Baseball Intelligence..the early bird gets the worm!!!!
I have attached our April B-IQ early as we are headed to AZ for awhile. Must leave the cold for the warm as it has been a dreadful winter!
This particular attachment is from my old Out In Left Field Blog and though it was apropos for this time of the year…pls do enjoy it! Also, added the ROPE!!!
Our team of 21 and l be headed to Hanoi on the 7th of April for the 10th “Baseball Connect” trip. The Hanoi National Team will be visiting us June 19-22 and that is very exciting. This young team will try to be the first team in Vietnamese History to try to qualify for the next World Baseball Classic…it has been our dream since 2008 and they are on their way..you just never know.
Our fund raising campaign has come up a bit short for the 2017 budget. We would appreciate any help or leads so we can “defeat the dearth” and provide our program(s) with the necessary funding. Thanks for your consideration. Donations may be made to: FirstSwing, PO Box 497, Medina, WA 98039
GAGPTH and as they say, “The ump yells PLAY BALL, not WORK Ball!”
PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGE FOR INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR DAY TO DAY SHOPPING CAN RAISE MONEY FOR KLOUTERS!
2017 Tournaments Have Been Scheduled
Check the 2017 tournaments page to view
FirstSwing FINAL Workout Camp is Sunday March 19th from 9am-Noon
FirstSwing FirstSwing is hosting it’s final camp of the winter and pre-season; Sunday, March 19th, at Kellogg Middle School from 9am-noon. The cost for the session is $70.00 and is limited to 40 players. This camp will be focusing on the basics of hitting and the drills that young players must do to improve their skill sets! Hitting is the toughest of all skills to learn as an athlete. We will work on the proper physical mechanics as well as the mental aspect. This is a very important session as it will allow each player to have many swings and to really work on making good solid contact. The key to hitting is REPETITION and we will provide the drills for the players to do on their own and at home!
Our motto is “Full head=empty bat” and will tech the players to focus on the ball and not on where it will go lour on missing it!! See it and Hit it..and then RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!
Registration Form: Winter PreSeason Workout March 19 2017
Lastly, the FirstSwing Foundation(501c3 non-profit) is an Amazon Associate and we would appreciate your support by purchasing items from Amazon through our portal at klouter.org. You simply go to our site (you are here now) and on the right hand side of the page, click on the Amazon ad and VIOLA! a percentage of your purchase(s) go to us as a donation..Thanks for any help you may provide..GAGPTH! Coach Phil
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you wish to recommend a “newcomer” or rookie that you believe will WORK HARD to “Get Good!” TY and GAGPTH! Coach Phil
Keep Caught Up:
- Baseball Intelligence #62
- Baseball Intelligence #59
If you have questions please do email Coach Phil at email@example.com
- Off season work:
- Keep in shape by playing other sports and working on your physical conditioning, diet and life style.
- Try to throw a few times each week for 10-15 minutes and choose a skill set to work on each month.
- Stay with the fundamentals and set reasonable goals!
- Need help? email Coach Phil and we can review your game and work out a plan.
Remember it is most important to work on your deficiencies!!
Bong Chay (Baseball) in Vietnam 2016:
FirstSwing Foundation returned to Hanoi in April!
Our Baseball Connect Klouter team again returned to Hanoi, Vietnam to continue our work.
Read about our 2016 trip and view photos on our Facebook page.