Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman was back where it all began Saturday morning, hosting a free youth baseball clinic on Long Island, New York.
— Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) November 11, 2017
Stroman, 26, is a Long Island native having attended Patchogue-Medford High School.
The clinic was organized by Pro Camps at Hofstra University, and was part of Major League Baseball’s “Players Going Home” program.
According to MLB.com, boys and girls ranging from first to eighth grade attended the clinic. Stroman discussed his path to the majors, his approach to baseball, the importance of education, among other subjects.
“Being from Long Island, this is home base,” said Stroman. “My family still lives here. This is where my roots are, this is where I’m from, this is where I was raised. So to be able to come back here and have this camp for kids that are in the same position I was in, it’s special.”
Stroman’s father Earl and mother Adlin Auffant attended the clinic.
The Jays’ righty is coming off his first career Gold Glove win, having been awarded the American League honor Tuesday night. MLB.com mentions Stroman talked about the pride he took in winning the award during the clinic, quoting him saying it was “the one award that I always really wanted.”
Stroman talked about what it meant to him:
“It’s surreal. Being surrounded by (Dave) Winfield, Reggie Jackson, (Derek) Jeter, Ozzie Smith, a bunch of greatness in one room. That only makes me want to work harder. Just to be in that, I’m extremely lucky, and blessed I had my whole family there. It was kind of an awesome accumulation, the (World Baseball Classic), throwing 200 innings this past year, and the hard work that not only myself but my whole family put into it.”
When it comes to positively impacting children using his platform as a professional athlete, Stroman’s on board 100%.
“I realize how big of a role I can have in their lives, how influential I could be. Just by coming out here, just keeping it casual, just being around them, just answering any crazy questions they have, or just throwing the ball with them. I love being around them and I realize how much that can do for their spirits and going forward.”
“I’m from here. Medford. LIE Exit 65,” @MStrooo6 said at a baseball clinic inside the bubble at Hofstra. “I love everything about Long Island. Baseball on Long Island is a priority for me. I’ve always wanted to come back and give back.” https://t.co/rTZ6tevDko pic.twitter.com/qcVX4e3nIs
— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) November 12, 2017
Stroman’s coming off his best overall season in 2017. In 33 games/starts, he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA (ninth best in AL), exceeding 200 innings for the second straight season.