BERN TWP., Pa. – The Rip It Baseballtown Charities Training Facility in Bern Township, run by the nonprofit arm of the Reading Fightin Phils, has served as a refuge for young athletes trying to improve their game.
"It's been awesome, man, especially right now with with the pandemic and everything that's been going on in the U.S.," said former Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Domonic Brown. "It's been good to get in here and get the clinics going, be able to run stuff through the Phillies."
Brown's hitting and skills clinics have been giving aspiring baseball stars an edge as they're finally returning to baseball fields around the region.
"After the first week after he worked with Dom, with his hitting and the way he was standing," said Heather Brown, parent of one of the clinic participants. "He made a few adjustments and it has made such a big difference."
The clinics are proving even more important as kids try to make up for a lost summer when it comes to sports.
"That whole year being off," the mother said, "they would rather do their video games sometimes so this is really nice that they offered this."
In addition to the pandemic, cold weather outside makes the indoor facilities even more important to keep kids competitive with their counterparts.
"A lot of guys are getting drafted in Florida, Georgia, but I feel like we got just as much talent up here but the development of things isn't the same just because guys are able to get outside," said Domonic Brown.
The former All-Star has one more clinic planned for next week, as the kids continue to hit their way into a more hopeful summer marked by the return to a game they love.
"To see these guys be able to do what they're doing," said Domonic Brown, "the sky's the limit."