FPAA-Sponsored Tomateros Youth Baseball Clinic A Success
by Fresh Produce Association of the Americas
Posted: 2017-10-16 09:06:31 EST

Nogales, AZ —  Nogales welcomed professional baseball greats from the Tomateros, the professional baseball team in Culiacan, Sinaloa, for a first-ever Tomateros Nogales Youth Baseball Clinic.  The event was held on Saturday and Sunday, October 7-8, by the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA), the Ley family of Del Campo Supreme.

The clinic was open for local youth ages 4 to 15, and was a fun opportunity for Club Tomateros de Culiacan and the Nogales High School Apaches baseball team to help kids learn about baseball. Participants had the opportunity to hone their baseball skills ranging from beginner’s level to experienced with highly skilled professionals.  Among those doing the coaching were Darrel Sherman and Francisco Paquin Estrada of the Tomateros, and Coach Eddie Cota of the Nogales Apaches.

30 local kids participated in the clinic, bringing with them a love for the game and an eagerness to learn. Split into two groups based on age, the clinic took place over two days with a morning session for the younger kids ages 4-9, and an afternoon session for those 10-15 years of age.

The training participants received also reflected their age and experience level. For the younger group, they were coached on more basic skills, like throwing, catching, hitting the ball, and running the bases. At the end of the day on Sunday, they even played a short, three-inning game that was all about having fun and putting what they’d learned into practice.  For the older group, the focus was batting, and pitching, where they received a first-hand look at how the pros train.

At the end of each session on Sunday, the groups huddled up and took a knee to listen to some words of wisdom about sports, education, and dedication. Coach Cota stressed the importance of maintaining grades and focusing on school. This was reiterated by Coach Sherman who added that the kids need to practice every day, no matter what sport or activity they choose to pursue.

Lance Jungmeyer, President of the FPAA, who was there to observe and offer support said, "It was so great to see the Tomateros teaching skills to aspiring young ball players. Our communities are so tied together through business and cultural ties.  This is another way to strengthen our cooperation and to help Nogales better understand the cultural connection to where our produce comes from.”

Based in Culiacan and owned by the Ley family, the Tomateros are right at the center of fresh produce. Even the name of the team, which translates to Tomato Pickers, reflects its ties to the industry.

Baseball, like the fresh produce industry, is an integral part of the cultures of both Nogales and Culiacan. This clinic was in part a gesture to combine the two in an effort to strengthen the bond between the two cities as well as highlight the important economic relationship between the United States and Mexico.

For a full list of sponsors go to: http://www.freshfrommexico.com/2017/09/28/sponsorship-opportunity-tomateros-baseball-clinic-october-7-8/

About the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas: 

The FPAA is a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Nogales, Arizona, that represents over 120 U.S. member companies involved in growing, packing, sales and transportation of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in Mexico.  The FPAA leverages the efforts of private companies and partner-associations to increase the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetable from Mexico.  

Source: Fresh Produce Association of the Americas