On July 10th the Potter Baseball Tour will return to the Oil Region for a two-day tour stop. During this stop they will provide community service for several local organizations and enjoy pickup games of baseball, to include a softball game against the Oil City Fire Department.
Potter Baseball is built upon four tenets that Coach Jeff Potter impresses upon his players during their 30-day tour, passion, hard work, respect, and selflessness. This tour is comprised of young men ranging in age from 12-15. These young men “barn storm” from city to city in large vans and rely on host families to house them during their stay in each city. Tour players spend their days providing community service wherever it is needed and play local baseball teams in the evening. The tour has a strong relationship with many charities in the areas they visit and have been responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars for numerous non-profit agencies. They continue to work with organizations such as the Arthritis Foundation, Miracle League, Cure Search for Childhood Cancer, the Combat Wounded Coalition, and locally Bridge Builders Community Foundations.
During last year’s visit the tour hosted a baseball clinic at the Oil City Junior Baseball fields on Ridge Avenue in Oil City. This clinic helped to raise over $600 for the Jensin Michael Potts Memorial Scholarship, which is overseen by Bridge Builders. In addition to the clinic, tour players performed over 200 man-hours of service at the OCJB fields, to include painting, landscaping, and field maintenance.
This year will be the second annual visit to our area for Potter Baseball. Tour players will be arriving the evening of July 10th and will be lodged at Camp Coffman for the duration of their stay. This was made possible through generous arrangements made possible by Tom Spence of the Scenic Rivers YMCA. The following day, players will be performing extensive work around the grounds of Camp Coffman, followed by a CPR and first aid class. Each night of the tour the players will have the privilege of hearing several distinguished military Veterans from our area speak. These speeches will cover different topics that each speaker feels is important to teen boys as they grow into young men and leaders of their organizations and communities.
At 9 am on July 12th the tour will arrive in Oil City where they will conduct the 2nd annual Jensin Potts Memorial Clinic. This clinic is for all players age 12 and under and is taught entirely by the tour players. Players will cover position specific drills and fielding for those in attendance. At 7pm that evening the Oil City Fire Department will host the Potter Baseball Tour in a charity softball game at the Hasson Heights Softball Field near the Oil City swimming pool on Summit Street.
Proceeds from this year’s clinic will go to the Oil City Fire Department to support their Mass Casualty Incident Initiative. This initiative is an effort to increase the cooperation, preparedness, and response capabilities of local first responders and the Oil City Area School District to incidents involving multiple patients. While in its infancy, this initiative hopes to increase the availability of medical supplies throughout OCASD and educate staff on immediate life-saving interventions they are able initiate prior to the arrival of first responders. The public is encouraged to attend this event and a fun night of softball, and also speak to our brave firemen about this initiative and ways the community can help.
The logistics and accommodations for an event such as this would not be possible without the overwhelming support of area organizations such as Scenic Rivers YMCA, Bridge Builders, Oil City Fire Department, VFW Post 464 of Oil City, Last Call Tavern, Schwebel Baking Company, Aaron’s of Cranberry, and the City of Oil City.
Anyone wishing to get more information about Potter Baseball or see how they can become involved in this wonderful opportunity can contact David Guiste at (814)657-2010 or Mike Boocks at (814)671-8564. Community members who would like more information about the OCFD MCI Initiative or to see in what way they can contribute may contact Captain Derek Long at (814)671-9718.
This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s July 2018 edition of the VenangoWorks! Newsletter.