„Lithuania Baseball Welcomes first ever MLB Envoy; Visits to Utena, Kaunas, and Vilnius“
Sam Dempster, one of MLB’s head Envoy Coaches, visited Lithuania for seven days of baseball clinics from May 29th-June 4th. He spent two days in each location coaching and working with baseball coaches and administrators in the cities of Kaunas, Vilnius, and Utena. During his stay, Sam’s focus was to give dynamic support and suggestions in youth practices. He introduced new hitting and defensive drills, gave instruction on technique, as well as found time to see some of Lithuania’s tourist sites including the lakes of Aukstaitija, Trakei Castle, and Vilnius Old Town.
During our ride from Utena to Kaunas, Sam shared with me his impressions of Lithuanian Baseball. He was impressed by the talent and potential in the young athletes he saw. Good strong bodies, very aggressive and powerful swingers. He sees good things to come in Lithuanian baseball. His biggest critique was that technique and discipline must become major focuses in order for the skill level and level of play to improve as a whole.
Sam expressed that he looks forward to creating a lasting relationship between Lithuanian Baseball and the MLB Envoy Program. He looks forward to the possibility of sending an Envoy to Lithuania for the 2010 season, and possibly even a return visit to Lithuania himself!
We greatly appreciate the work Sam was able to do in his brief visit to Lithuania, and look forward to the possibilities this may bring. Thanks also to all those who hosted him for making the visit a success.
Brief bio on MLB Envoy Sam Dempster: Sam is one of the head coaches of the MLB Envoy Coaching Program. He has coached in Germany, England, Holland, Spain, Kenya, and South Korea among other countries, as an Envoy coach. He currently has a regular role coaching and training the British Cadet National Team. Back in North America, Coach Dempster is entering his 18th season as head coach of Durham College near Ontario, Canada, where he has compiled a record of 245-165 over 17 seasons. He has guided his team to Conference titles in each of the last four seasons and four appearances in the Canadian National Championships.