PARIS – Two local young men who’ve hit baseball’s big leagues’ farm system, will offer three clinics in January to teach kids to play ball and keep dreaming.

Garrett Olson who plays in the Minnesota Twins’ farm league system, and Tyler Cummings, who pitches in the Kansas City Royals’ farm system, are back in their hometowns to offer baseball lessons at Oxford Hills Middle School on Jan. 7, 21 and 28.

They were invited back by parks and recreational Director Kelsey Jewell.

“I actually am a local Oxford Hills girl,” Jewell said Tuesday. “I graduated with Tyler Cummings, and Garrett Olson is a relative of mine. I have their cell phone numbers and e-mail addresses.”

She said when she suggested the idea to them, they leaped at the chance. “They are both doing crazy projects” and have intense training regimens. “But they were both enthusiastic and have accommodated their busy schedules,” Jewell said.

Cummings said he hopes to strengthen the hopes of baseball-loving kids. “You always have that dream to play baseball when you’re older,” Cummings said Tuesday. “But you don’t hear about that often – people from this area making it. We want to bring that message back to kids in this area that, ‘Just because you come from a small town in Maine, it doesn’t mean you can’t keep moving up those levels.’ “

Olson said he also wants to give kids a chance to play baseball in the middle of winter. He is leaving in mid-February for Fort Myers, Fla., to train with his team. He’s a third baseman.

The two players, who are in their early 20s, started playing the game here for Paris’ local teams.

Cummings, whose parents Stephen and Lori Cummings live in Paris, graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in 2002 and from Franklin Pierce College in New Hampshire in 2006.

Olson graduated from OHCHS in 2003 and also played baseball for Franklin Pierce College. His mother, Barbara Deschenes, lives in Norway, and his father, Randy Olson, lives in Harrison.

Jewell said the ball players two want to return to the community to teach kids before they start their spring seasons because they are both grateful, and they also know it’s hard to find baseball expertise here.

“They remember playing at Oxford Hills and not having a lot of time to perfect their skills or having people who had the skills to teach them the ropes,” she said. “They have felt a lot of support from the community being far away… They were really eager to be part of a program that gave them a start.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.