Beginning with the first tryouts on Monday, Olive Branch native and former pro baseball catcher Ed Easley will start putting the pieces together of what will be the newest baseball development club for youngsters to compete and improve their diamond skills.
The Easley Baseball Club (EBC) came together when Easley, who last year retired after a 10-year pro career spent in the Arizona, St. Louis and Pittsburgh organizations, including stints with the Memphis Redbirds and the parent Cardinals, was joined by Lewisburg assistant baseball coach Shaker Turner in the program that will teach baseball and much more, Easley said.
“I had a coach my first year in pro ball who sat me down day one and he laid out the rules for us,” Easley said. “There was only one rule and that was to be respectful. That kind of took care of everything. That’s our motto to teach kids how to be respectful and play the game hard.”
A former Mississippi Gatorade baseball Player of the Year, All-American and winner of the Johnny Bench Award as the nation’s top collegiate catcher, Easley is also being assisted by other former college baseball players who he either played with at Mississippi State or has relationships with and are wanting to help out.
Development is another word Easley mentioned as a priority for the organization.
“Yes, we want to win,” Easley said, “But we want to see the guys from where they start at the beginning of the year look back and see that they got better at the end of the year.”
The formation of the EBC teams, including showcase teams for ages 14-18, will start with tryouts on Monday at the Olive Branch High School baseball field for 7U-8U age groups from 3:30-6 p.m., followed by 9U-10U at 6:30-9 p.m. Another 9U-10U tryout is set for Wednesday, June 28 at 3:30 p.m. on the Olive Branch diamond.
Tryouts for age groups 11U-12U are set for the Germantown, Tenn. High School field on Tuesday, June 27 and in Olive Branch on Wednesday, June 28.
Exact tryout times and registration information is available on the website, www.easleybaseball.com.
Successful players after tryouts are completed will be a part of teams that will play in a number of tournaments this fall, Easley said.
“We’ll be in about 3-4 tournaments locally this fall,” Easley said. “We will do a lot of organizational workouts and winter workouts to develop the players that we have up into the spring of 2018, when things will really start to crank up.”
For more information, contact Easley at 901-219-0578 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bob Bakken is Sports Editor and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.