Jerick Nomura ’21 has played Little League Baseball since he was old enough to swing at a T-ball stand.
“That’s where I fell in love with the game,” said Nomura, a biology major from Pearl City, Hawaii, and now an outfielder for the Whitman Blues baseball team. “All those coaches played a huge role in my development.”
That’s true for many players on the Blues baseball team — fellow Hawaiian and infielder Kepa Supnet ’22, a film and media studies major from Wailuku, also began his baseball career with Little League. It also left its mark on Isaac Beaman ’23, an infielder from Hood River, Oregon.
“I still remember the Little League ceremonies. It was a big part of my life at a young age,” Beaman said.
The Blues work to bring that same love for baseball to Little Leaguers across the Walla Walla Valley through its annual jamboree and spring training camp. This spring, both events had to be canceled due to restrictions caused by COVID-19.
But that wasn’t going to stop the players from sharing their love for baseball and helping young players grow their skills.
Instead of the weeklong training camp, which annually hosts between 50-75 children ages 4-11 from across the Walla Walla Valley, each player created their own video demonstrating techniques and teaching drills for children to practice at home.
“It’s our way to give back without physically having the camp,” Supnet said. “Each person recorded a different drill that kids could do at home, or the park. It was really fun. As a film major, it was really fun to do.”
“There’s no major league baseball, there’s no college baseball, there’s no little league baseball, so we wanted to find a way to keep growing the game and share what kids can do at home to stay engaged, have some fun in their backyard,” said head coach Brian Kitamura.