Donor helps kids play ball


PARIS – An anonymous donor has made it possible for 10 students to participate in a novel baseball workshop being offered this month by professional baseball players.

After reading about the clinic in the newspaper, the donor called the town to offer $1,000 for 10 scholarships to children whose families would not have been able to afford the $100 clinic fee.

Garrett Olson, who plays in the Minnesota Twins’ minor league system, and Tyler Cummings, who pitches in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league system, are between seasons right now. They have offered three baseball clinics this month to local students. Both graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

Last Sunday was their first clinic, and they will hold others on Jan. 21 and 28.

Paris recreational Director Kelsey Jewell said after the town received the donation, community members and coaches nominated students who play baseball but who had not signed up for the clinic.

Roughly 40 students are enrolled in the three workshops, which together cost $100. The students who received the scholarship are from the Oxford Hills area and between 9 and 16 years old.

Jewell said the first workshop went wonderfully. Besides Cummings and Olson, Eric Cavers, a professional catcher from Otisfield, and Karl Olson, who plays for Wheaton College, also helped out. Karl Olson is from Bethel.

“All four of them worked wonderfully with the players,” Jewett said. “All the players were sweating by the end of it, but the students learned a lot and got a lot of attention.”