Baseball Intelligence: March 2020

March Madness reaches NEW heights!!  Wow, with the virus, stock market mania, Mariners “taking themselves out of the race(before the season!)”, the Astros scandal(just change your signs if they are stealing them!), UW basketball in the tank, and Lincoln Rhyme not catching the bone collector, the world has gone goofy! At least we have the fun March Madness to help us keep our sanity!  Go Zags!!! Moreover, we have had to cancel our annual “Baseball Connect” trip to Vietnam and as a result EVA will not refund our fares…life is not fair and neither is baseball or air travel!!

All this being said, this month is just going to be a ton of fun..the BIQ focuses on some fun factoids of yore and has a Baseball is attachment for your edification and use…something has to be fun!!


Baseball Is

Enjoy the day and do not worry:  Upset won the Derby, the Miracle Mets won the series, Jim Marshall ran the wrong way but the Vikes still won, and Nostradamus was not right about everything….hope Malthus was not as well!  GAGPTH!

Apply Occam’s Razor or the law of parsimony if totally confused!

Baseball Intelligence: February 2020

Hi everyone

Hope all are livin’ the dream and managing to keep warm and cozy.  Baseball season is getting ready to begin and of course, we have controversy and all kinds of speculation regarding the “cheating” Astros and Bosox.  It would not be baseball without the clamor of noise created by who have not learned to play the game.  What next?  The Nats used “trumped” up players??????????

This issue has an attached copy of an earlier BIQ when we first addressed cheating…both are relevant and I hope you enjoy them.  I am sure not too long from now that I will be re-sending both with a new allegation of “cheaters” in the game.  Heck, it would not be a hot stove league if we did not have some controversial subject!!!

Baseball Intelligence February 2020 Reprint

FirstSwing 2020 Schedule        Klouter Newsletter February 2020

Perfect 30         Winter PreSeason Workout March 28 2020

Enjoy the pre-season and GAGPTH! Phil

Please do visit the FirstSwing store on EBay as we reload it every 2 weeks or so and will soon have special Dave Matthews autographed balls(with his drawing of the Rhino), a Tom Hanks ball and even a Farrah Fawcett ball..maybe an MC Hammer one as well..ex-bat boy of the A’s and Charlie O favorite!!  PLS do forward the info to anyone who would like to be part of FirstSwing and our ongoing mission to help kids get good and follow THEIR dream………..Go Zags!!

Baseball Intelligence: January 2020

Hi everyone,

Happy New Year to all!!!!!  Another decade in the books and hopefully the next one will bring us a bit more levity and less drama…impossible is an opinion so I will go with the optimistic approach rather than the nihilistic one!!

Thank you to ALL who have helped us with our FirstSwing mission and have contributed with either money or with so many of our activities.  We are very proud of our accomplishments but most proud of how may “step up to the plate” each year and help us “drive in” success.  So many kids are in a better place because of your efforts, support, and most of all, friendship.  The biggest coups of the year is our new relationship with Funko POP, James Bennett(sports artist), and our having Dave Mathews(of the Dave Mathews Band) sign two baseballs with his original art for our auctions!!!!!!!!!!!  KWTP!!

Baseball Intelligence January 2020

Enjoy the new year and of course GAGPTH!  Maybe it will return to just “fun and games”…??


Klouter Newsletter:  January 2020


The attached Newsletter is a beginning of a new year.  PLEASE have all current players read this and respond when appropriate.  It is most important that everyone knows what we are doing and what we need to accomplish in the coming year.  We have new partners with FUNKO and Chick-fil-A.  Please support these friends by using their products and visiting their stores…KWTP!

MOST IMPORTANTLY, we need you to help with our FirstSwing-Klouter Booth at the tourneys at Phil Johnson.  We need a family to administer the booth and pls do email Coach Phil if you will take the responsibility of doing so.  EACH family wil be responsible for 2-3 hours in the booth during the season…this was explained when you joined and if you do not sign up, we will assign you the times that we need filled.  PLS help us with this task as the monies are key to our Foundation’s success.

Lastly, we need your help and support for our team headed to Vietnam in April.  As we no longer have the M’s Fan Fest, we are soliciting funds from friends, family, etc..pls do help with the Facebook page(see attached newsletter) and the attached Auction..Thanks for your support..GAGPTH  OSC!!  We also have a FirstSwing store on EBAY..take a look and might find something cool!!

Auction January 2020Klouter Newsletter January 2020

Reading Club 2019Tournaments 2020

Thanks and Happy New Year to all..Coach Phil

Klouter Newsletter:  December 2019

It is the best time of the year and we hope you celebrate the holidays and enjoy a GREAT and successful 2020!!!

Happy Holidays and  WNM!

Baseball Intelligence December 2019: A Little Holiday Humor to Brighten your Days/Daze

We wish EVERYONE a great Holiday season and hope to see you in 2020.  Another decade of fun and ball to follow with the Mariners hopefully making it exciting and interesting..or not!

Our Holiday Camp is December 27th from 9am-1:30pm(see attached)..hope you locals have a chance to get there as it is the BEST time to prepare for the coming season..the focus will be on reviewing fundamentals and helping each player build their regimen so they are ready to go once the season starts..GAGPTH!
Our “Baseball Connect” team is set at 28 members and can use any help you may provide in raising the needed funds for the mission.  We have a gofund page(FirstSwing) and an auction with some exciting items to include a Russel Wilson auto jersey, Bobby Wagner auto jersey, Mike Trout auto baseball, and Joe DiMaggio auto vintage BW photo!!  Let us know if you are interested in any of these or more…email Coach Phil at  Thanks and KWTP!!
Holiday UP and FAW!!!!!

Holiday Camp 2020

Hi everyone

We are hosting our annual Holiday Camp on December 27th, Friday at Cedar Valley Community School in Lynnwood.  I have attached the information sheet/registration.

The main purpose of this camp/clinic is to help prepare the youngsters for the coming 2020 season.  It will have 2 sessions and all are invited to both.  We are sending all current and former Klouters to get the word out.  Any youngster, of any ability, is welcome.  FirstSwing focuses on helping kids play the game for fun with the intent to tech solid fundamentals!!

This particular camp/clinic is also a time for any 8-9-10-12U an opportunity to try out for the Klouter summer team.  This is the first time we have offered this and hope you will spread the word that we are looking for a few players to solidify our teams.  The season for Klouters essentially begins after Little League is done and is a fun summer experience for those who wish to compete and play the game at a higher level.  With the holiday season, if you are staying in the area, It’s important for all of the current Klouters to try to attend.  Pls email me if you have any questions.

It is important to also understand that FirstSwing provides scholarships for any family that may need some financial help.  We also have family rates and team rates.  Our goal lis to have as many youngsters attend that really want to get ready for 2020 and also have fun.  This is in the main gym at Cedar Valley School.

Holiday Camp 2020

We appreciate your consideration and hope you will help us get kids there!  We are limited to 50 but need your help in attaining that goal.

Thanks and enjoy a great Holiday Season!!

Phil Rognier

Klouter Baseball Intelligence – November 2019

Hi everyone

Each year November 11th is celebrated around the world under various names..Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day, Remembrance Day.  It is the day that WWI came to an end as an truce..the eleventh day of the eleventh month at the eleventh hour in 1919.  This year has a more significant meaning to me.  My mother was born on that exact day at 11:30 am in San Francisco!  She would have been 100 this coming 11th!!  She lived a great and full life passing at 92.  My dad served in WWII and I served in the non-war in 1968-70.  This day is the day that we all take a moment to remember and honor all those who gave their time and/or lives serving this wonderful country.

The attached is a BIQ with the intent to put sports in the proper perspective.  Playing a game is “not going to war”.  You hear this cliche too many times and it is an injustice with a faulty premise.  Also, we need to STAND UP for America by honoring our flag, anthem and those who did STAND UP when needed.  We are the luckiest people in the world with every opportunity to live our dream and follow our aspirations.  Just travel the world and you will see what other alternatives are available..I bet you will choose living here EVERY time!!

Baseball Intelligence November 2019

Enjoy and if you did serve, THANK YOU for your service!!


Klouter Newsletter – November 2019

Hi everyone

It is time to finalize all the Klouter teams for the coming season.  We need your help finding a few 8 and 9U players.  PLEASE Help us in this quest!!  If you know any potential players, pleased do email Coach Phil with heir names and contact information.  We will be having a camp/clinic in December and they may attend at that time so we may assess their abilities/attitudes/etal,  We will be sending out the form for the camp as soon as the date(s) are approved.

 Enjoy THANKSGIVING and please do read the attached..the attachment, Like,  tells the whole story(attachment)

PreparationLikeRules of ThumbKlouter Newsletter November 2019

GAGPTH! Coach Phil

Klouter Newsletter – October 2019

Hi everyone

EVERY player and parent MUST read the WHY WOOD attachment.  Again, this last summer, too many are using bats that do not and will not do the job..too heavy.  Work with wood and you will increase your bat speed and power…also, get a lighter bat..forget what your buddy is swinging and improve your hitting with a short quick swing with a bat YOU can handle!  FAW!!

Klouter Newsletter October 2019Perception StretchersStudy HabitsWhy Wood 2011

GAGPTH!!  Phil

Baseball Intelligence: September 2019

Yeow..another summer and youth baseball season zoomed by quicker than Willie Mays Hayes stealing second in “Major League”!  This particular BIQ is part of my new book, Baseball Matters and points out how really cool the great game is!  I hope you enjoy it and keep baseball in perspective..many are not and at the youth level it has become a real mess.  I remember Yogi saying he loved Little League because it kept the parents off the street..I am wishing they would go back there and allow the kids to enjoy the game and its true value!

Baseball Intelligence September 2019

Enjoy the “hot stove” league and GAGPTH!  Phil

August 2019 Klouter Newsletter

Hi everyone,

Attached is the August 2019 Klouter Newsletter.  Hope all of you are having a great summer.  As you have seen in some previous emails, we expect ALL to participate in the Baseball Challenge and for families to sign up for the booth and other.  The more we work together to help support the Klouters, the more others will see and understand why this is such a special program we are all a part of.

Klouter Newsletter August 2019

Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2019

KLOUTER Preparation

Klouter Play and Hints for the Future

Thanks Phil


July 2019 Klouter Newsletter

Hi everyone,

Attached is the July 2019 Klouter Newsletter.  Hope all of you are having a great summer and enjoying camp.  Really looking forward to seeing everyone in the upcoming tournaments in July!!!!


It’s always interesting watching a batter when faced against the shift.  Surprised more don’t take the easy way out and just bunt away from it.


Baseball Intelligence: July 2019


As the baseball season drudges into the “dog days”, I thought it might be nice for a change of pace. Enjoy your “good walk spoiled”!

Baseball Hubris has once again reared its ugly head.  MLB took the game to London last weekend to show the Brits what they are missing.  Hmmm..not too much as the two teams scored 50 runs in TWO games and resembled cricket.  Not too enticing if the goal was to spread the  word about our great game.  Why don’t they just work on the quality of product instead of having to force our game on other nations??  To make $$?  I hope not as MLB has way too much already..guys who talk the game but are not really very good at it(Harper, Cano, etal) make way too much in relation to their value using any ruler of measurement!

When will managers begin managing and get their heads out of the analytics?  Might be nice if they taught the game and forgot about 3-run “jacks” as the main strategy”!  Last Saturday there were 5 games where a team scored 10 or more(and one did not even win) and also 12 teams who scored six or more..nice pitching!  Heck and that is with an opener, 6th inning guy, 7th inning one, eight and more!  Nice quality starts.,.if it were Little League.  The Seattle M’s epitomize a team that has zero fundies, will and cannot bunt, wait for the homer(wow, they are one of the leaders and are 17+ out of first), miss the cut off man, cannot field and do not understand the very basic BBB defensive stratagem

The game is waning and losing fans..but not too worry there are 650+ people making $560,000 plus as “fill-ins” for real players.  Sad to see this as kids are opting for lacrosse, videos and other distractions…do not let the attendance numbers fool you.  Also, in order to attract fans the All Star game has added so many tricks(all costly), teams must revert to minor league give-aways and many parks are still less than half full.  Maybe a bit of “small ball”, hustle, and sparkling defense might re-energize our great game!

Baseball Intelligence July 2019

Enjoy the BIQ..less “filling”..Phil

June 2019 Klouter Newsletter

Hi everyone

Attached is the June 2019 Klouter Newsletter and supplement attachments.

KLouter Newsletter June 2019

Books and Their Value

Defense The 4F Drill

Below are a number of items we need assistance with:

  • We need Klouters to check their schedules and sign up for the July 8-12th camp as well as help us find new campers!   Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2019
  • It is most important to respond to Jen McKnight’s call for booth workers for the next tourney, July 19-21.  It will be at Meadowdale (Lynnwood) field and we will be hosting our first tourney there..PLEASE sign up
  • We are looking for restaurant gift certificate and any old baseball photos for our auctions. Visit the FirstSwing store on EBay and share the info with others.
  • Please see the attached pictures.  It’s true.  Klouters DO come in ALL sizes


Want to hear a great story? Open the video attachment and enjoy.


Mom booted from youth basketball tournament after she appears to trip player from opposing team
Fox News

Stunning video from a California youth basketball game Saturday appeared to show a mother trip a child of the opposing team while the boy was dribbling up the court. Read the full story

Have a great start to the summer.   GAGPTH!!!!!!



Hello everyone 

We are now in May and just a few weeks away from the start of our Klouter season.  Continue working on preparing your body and mind through the season!

IMPORTANT and URGENT:  We are still in need of we need 8,9 and 12 teams for the tourney.  Please spread the word and get some additional teams to sign up.  The more teams we have the better the tournament experience for everyone!

I’m also attaching some pictures of the recent trip to Hanoi.  Bong Chay rocks!!!!

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

Klouter Newsletter May 2019

Klouters 2019 Learning the Game



 April 2019 Klouter Newsletter

Hello everyone 

April is here and than means one thing… season is in full swing.  Continue working on preparing your body and mind through the season!  

IMPORTANT and URGENT:  We are still in need of tourney and activity sponsors.  We HAVE had a few step up but with increased costs we need help..any leads or contacts would be appreciated.  We are looking for $500-1000 sponsorship or donations.  Thanks

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.  Being a Klouter is being responsible, in-the-know, and being accountable..FAW!!  WNM!!

Thanks and see you soon, Coach Phil

Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2019Klouter Newsletter April 2019

Klouter Code of Conduct

Catcher Pregame Workout and Preparation

Catcher Commandments


March 2019 Klouter Newsletter

Hello everyone 

March is here and that means one thing… 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

Klouter Newsletter March 2019Baseball Intelligence March 2019KLOUTER Preparation

Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2019Winter PreSeason Workout March 24 2019

Arm and Issues

‘I think your stuff isn’t working because the season may have ended a while back.’

To appease the fans, major-league umpires are now required to take eye exams during the seventh inning stretch.

Hello Everyone,

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..

Real Value of Baseball 2019 Baseball AddendumBaseball Intelligence March



February 2019 Klouter Newsletter
Hello everyone 
February is upon us and that only means one thing….baseball season is right around the corner.  Hopefully you are working on getting your body and mind prepared for the season!

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!!

Klouter Newsletter February 2019

Arm Strength

Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2019

Hot Dog

Life Lessons 51 important ones to remember

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!!

Klouter Newsletter January 2019PreparationKill the MachinesKlouter Credo 2018

John ScolinosFirstSwing 2019 Schedule

Thanks and see you soon, Coach Phil


Hi everyone

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.

Klouter Newsletter December 2018Card TossKill the Machines

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.

Holiday Baseball Camp Clinic 2018Holiday Camp Homework

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Baseball Intelligence December 2018  – “Monikers”

Hi everyone

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!!

Baseball Intelligence December 2018

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!



Hi everyone

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.

Klouter Newsletter November 2018Goals 2019Arm StrengthAlonzo Stagg


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!!

Thanksgiving Camp 2018Sponsorship Information Sheet 2018



Hi everyone,

Please see the October 2018 Klouter Newsletter.  Please take a look at all of the attachments and specifically the Advantages Klouters.

Klouter Newsletter October 2018Mental EdgeStretch Tubing ExercisesAdvantage Klouters 2018

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!



Hello Everyone!

As we all know and realize, baseball is more than a simple 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. 

Newsletter August 2018Simply Baseball HITTINGFinancial SuccessHitting Basics

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

Hello Everyone,

Please take a look at our Klouter Newsletter for July 2018, also take a few minutes to check out the links below!

Klouter Newsletter July 2018

ESPN Greatest American Sports Moments of the 20th Century

Ways to Lose a Baseball Game 35Lucadello Wall and PlanHitting Keep it Simple

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!


Hi Everyone!
Below is a link to the Klouter Newsletter for June 2018.  Also, please take time to look at the other two articles provided.
Exciting to see a local team in the College World Series.  There have been some great baseball games thus far!!!

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.

Heroes of Everett Tourney 2018 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:

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!


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.  

Klouter Newsletter May 2018Baseball Intelligence May 2018

PLAYING TIMEBo JacksonBe a Better Ball Player

Bellevue FirstSwing Baseball and Softball Camp 2018

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”.

Tournament Dates:

  • 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  For more information about the FirstSwing Foundation please visit; 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!”


Below is the latest version of the Klouter Newsletter.  Please take time and read the additional documents. 

Klouter Newsletter March 2018

FirstSwing Final Pre Season Camp March 18 2018

Simply Baseball The Simplest of Drills

Ernie Banks Large Card

Baseball Connect March Auction 2018

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!!!!



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!


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

FirstSwing Final Pre Season Camp March 18 2018

Also, please note that the “Baseball Connect” team is working hard to raise funds and we can use YOUR help.  Both 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!


Below is the latest version of the Klouter Newsletter.  Please take time and read each attachment and get your EYE exams!

Klouter Newsletter February 2018


Ways to Lose a Baseball Game 35

Baseball Connect Fundraising Example

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!

Baseball Intelligence February 2018

Parents An Absolute NecessityPrivilege of ParentingParents Let it Be

I wish again to ask you for assistance with our “Baseball Connect” 2018 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 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

Winter PreSeason Workout February 11 2018



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!!

Baseball Intelligence December 2017

Balls of Baseball Player Types

FirstSwing thanks you for all you do to help others GET 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


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 November 2017

Baseball Intelligence November 2017

Thanksgiving Camp 2017

Tournaments 2018 (2)

Drill Card Toss (1)

Bat and Bat Speed


“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 ….

Klouter Newsletter October 2017

Arm Strength



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”!

Baseball Intelligence October 2017

Enjoy and GAGPTH!


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!!

Baseball Intelligence September 2017

Baseball Intelligence Play ANYWAY

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.

Grab Bag Details – 2017

Click on the link above for more details!


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!

Three Earls II Auction 2017

Please email Phil @ 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

Everett Registration

Bellevue Registration

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.

Baseball Intelligence July 2017

Real Value of Baseball Jason Kono

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!

Coach Phil


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.

Updated-Memorial Day Tournament FINAL GRID

08U Heroes of Everett 2017 Schedule

09U Heroes of Everett 2017 Schedule

10U Heroes of Everett 2017 Schedule

11U Heroes of Everett 2017 Schedule

12U Heroes of Everett 2017 Schedule

Directions to Phil Johnson Park and Madison Park

May Newsletter

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.

Klouter Newsletter May 2017


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 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!”



Klouters Baseball


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!!

Pls do pass on this to others as we are always looking for new campers. 

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  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 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:

Remember it is most important to work on your deficiencies!!

Bong Chay (Baseball) in Vietnam 2016:
FirstSwing Foundation returned to Hanoi in April!




United States

Our Baseball Connect Klouter team again returned to Hanoi, Vietnam to continue our work.


2015 Hanoi Cup

Read about our 2016 trip and view photos on our Facebook page.