Little League baseball in Sanibel has just gotten a big boost and is on the verge of becoming a year round program thanks in large part to the work of local attorney Chuck Phoenix.
Though typically offered as a summer activity, Phoenix says the local little league program has become affiliated with the Babe Ruth League’s Cal Ripken Division. He anticipates that this will lead not only to greater emphasis on training, but come with opportunities for more off island competition.
He says a charitable foundation has also been established and efforts are being made to garner local support in terms of teams’ needs for funding and equipment.
A litigator specializing in business, real estate and restructuring, Phoenix also serves as a little league coach. When asked how he got so involved with baseball, he says, “I guess I’m in charge because I have the biggest mouth.”
He also confesses to possess a certain “love for the sport,” and says his work in little league has enabled him to relive some of his youth and participate with families and their children in what all regard as a healthy and wholesome activity.
While he envisions a potential day when the next great professional baseball player will emerge from Sanibel (possibly from his own family), Phoenix has planned a two-day event designed to help hone skills of current players. The “Holiday Skills Camp” will bring Bobby Barbier, Assistant Coach of the University of Alabama, and Hailey Barraco, Pitcher and Outfielder at the University of Central Florida, for a two-day session of guidance, instruction and skills training scheduled for December 28 and 29.
“Bobby Barbier is unbelievably talented and honestly, it’s a home run for the island that we could secure him for the clinic,” says Phoenix. He also notes that while Barraco is known for her skills as a softball players, he thinks she’ll offer good tips in the way of pitching and out-fielding that will benefit all players.
The coach clinic occurs on December 28, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the South Fort Myers Little League Clubhouse. All coaches are invited to attend. The cost is $20, or $10 if the coaches have players registered for the following day’s skills camp. The players’ camp with Hailey Barraco will take place Thursday, December 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at the Sanibel-Captiva Little League Field. Players aged from 6 to 12 are encouraged to bring equipment with them and the fee is $50.
Players will additionally have a chance to score some prizes at the event.
To register or receive more information about the skills camp or how to support little league baseball in Sanibel and Captiva, contact Regina Toops at Phoenix Law by phone at (239)461-0101 or by email to rt@PxhPa.com