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June 29, 2022

Junior Giants kick off season with Soledad clinic

More than 200 area youth participate in ball games

SOLEDAD — Soledad-Mission Recreation District recently hosted a baseball and softball clinic for the Junior Giants program at Jesse Gallardo Park in Soledad.

The June 5 clinic included 112 boys and 96 girls from Soledad and beyond who received instruction from volunteer coaches in the tee ball age groups, 8 to 10 years old in minor baseball and softball and 11 to 13 years old in major baseball and softball.

Anthony Mena of the Soledad-Mission Recreation District organized Sunday’s clinic and will be in charge of the Junior Giants program in Soledad.

“This is the biggest program Soledad has ever hosted for baseball and softball. I’m the commissioner and Jennika Alcantar is the Junior Giants ambassador, so it is just Jennika and I running it all,” Mena said. “(The clinic) got most of the coaches and volunteers plus the kids to sign up.”

Players take their cuts at the batting tee at the Junior Giants clinic in Soledad. (Michael Ramirez)

Since the program is required to cover the costs of using all three parks at Gallardo, Mena said they are asking for donations or sponsors to help pay for those expenses.

“We have to pay for the fields five days a week, and with this being a free program, it takes a good chunk out of our budget at the pool,” he added.

Junior Giants is a free, noncompetitive and coed baseball and softball program. This season will be six weeks long, and about 290 children are signed up to play.

“We will touch many families that couldn’t afford to play baseball or softball,” Mena said. “Junior Giants provides us with all the necessary equipment for every team and every kid who doesn’t have a glove receives a free glove. We also provide the kids with game pants, a game jersey and a hat.”

Junior Giants games will begin June 20, with tee ball games being played on Mondays, minor baseball and softball for ages 8-10 on Wednesdays and major baseball and softball for ages 11-13 on Fridays.

For more information, call Anthony Mena at the Soledad Pool at 678-3745.

Young ladies work on their swings at the net and also receive instruction in fielding defense by softball volunteer coaches at the Junior Giants clinic on June 5. (Michael Ramirez)

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