(LaPorte, IN) - Some LaPorte little league baseball players got an early start on the season this winter by turning the LaPorte Civic Auditorium into a Field of Dreams.
LaPorte’s youth program allows select players to play in travel tournaments in addition to their regular league schedule. To prep them for higher-level competition, three LaPorte travel teams have been using the Civic for winter practices.
Park Superintendent Mark Schreiber says scheduling the practices has been tight. “We’re thrilled to get the players inside at least once a week,” he said. “With the Civic’s schedule on the weekends and other activities they’ve got there, it’s a little tight.” Noting recent cold, wet afternoons and this weekend’s snowfall, Schreiber says opportunities to practice outside have been few and far between.
Schreiber has it from a good source—his father, long-time Slicer baseball coach Ken Schreiber— that starting the season indoors can really pay off. “When you go indoors, you have to break the game down small,” he said. “My dad always felt that the work they did in January and February in the gym was extremely beneficial, because, again, they had to break the game down small and work on all the finer points. And when you get out on the diamond, you put it all together. Hopefully the kids are getting that same benefit; they put in the hard work in March, and they’ll be ready to hit their expectations come June and July.”
Schreiber says current high school coach Scott Upp has been helpful in developing the travel program, which they see as a win-win for local kids and the high school program. The Parks Department aims to keep the program affordable and convenient for families, while cultivating talent for future Slicer baseball teams.