For years, Anthony Mitchell has wanted to give back to the game of baseball in some way. On Saturday, he’ll have the chance to do just that.  The STL Ministries, a religious organization based in Tupelo, will be hosting the first R.B.I. Youth Baseball Camp at the Tupelo Middle School baseball field from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.. The camp serves kids ages 6-12 and is great for beginners and is free admission, but with limited slots.

 

R.B.I., an acronym that stands for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, is a youth baseball program operated by Major League Baseball that focuses on bringing back baseball as a pastime.  “It’s a ministry initiative for us which allows us to give affordable outlets for kids as well as just helping to build a network of mentorship,” Mitchell said of the camp. “We’re teaching fundamentals to beginners and we’re enhancing the skills of those that are just beginning."

 

The camp was planned out on relatively short notice. On June 10th, the ministries held a football camp at Robbins Field with largely the same goals in mind. It was a big success, but the parents hoped they would do a baseball camp, something the kids would be more interested in.

 

“So at six weeks, to be able to just plan it what we’re able to, from the ground floor up with no equipment, no coaches, no location to be able to plan something of this magnitude,” Mitchell said. “It’s definitely been a little hectic, but it’s a blessing when you see the responses we’re starting to get.”

 

The “driving crux” for the camp was T.C. Cummings, the bishop at STL Ministries. Cummings grew up in the age of Jackie Robinson and wanted to be like him. Even after joining the ministry, baseball held a special place in his heart.  In that spirit, the camp is a way for Mitchell to honor him.

 

“He’s been in ministry 50 years,” Mitchell said. “I wanted to honor him in this regard by being able to put something together to honor his love for the game and also to help pass this on to some of the younger kids. I think it’s a good mending of the bridge, so to speak.”

 

Cummings will be one of the volunteers for the camp. Others include former Tupelo High coach Larry Harmon and Tupelo 49ers pitcher Jacobie Smith. “To be able to get such an eclectic blend of age and personalities and come together and be able to give something for the kids,” Mitchell said. “It’s exciting to me.”Parents who would like to register or donate equipment can reach out to Mitchell directly at 662-397-1276

More baseball camps are in the works.


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Coaches Corner 

Bishop TC Cummings 

 

Pastor TC is a high-energy, leader,  visionary, life coach and trainer who creates a stimulating environment for personal growth. He has guided individuals and teams in the areas of empowerment and advanced team unity since the early 70s, when he accepted his calling into ministry. He is passionately committed with combining his love for baseball with his vision of providing effective sports trainings, to all young kids and athletes, who can gain meaningful experiences from the lessons that playing sports provides..

 

Growing up in small town Plantersville, "Bishop" as he is known, was a big Brooklyn Dodgers fan, often dreaming of playing pro sports, due to the major impact Jackie Robinson had on him, standint tall as the first African American to play in the majors. Though his lifelong dream was to always hone his skills, and to follow in the steps of Jackie Robinson, ministry led him in a different path. This path though, has not stopped him from pouring into his community, and restoring the love of baseball as a national pastime with young kids.

Husband • Father • Pastor • Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Larry Harmon

Coach Harmon played baseball and football at MVSU (1976-81) and led the Golden Wave to two Class 5A state championships and saw pitcher Kirk Presley drafted in the first round of the 1993 MLB Draft by the New York Mets.

 As a baseball coach, Larry Harmon’s job was to make sure his runners made it home safely during games. Harmon was born in Kosciusko, but has worked in Tupelo for all but five of his 39 years in education. He started out as the head baseball coach and assistant football coach for THS in 1986 while teaching health and physical education.