On Saturday, June 18, 2016, Mint Pros, a VIP baseball event company, hosted a private youth baseball camp with New York Mets outfielder and 1986 World Series Hero Mookie Wilson. Known for his work ethic, always known for hustling on every play in his 12 year MLB career, Wilson was an excellent coach and role model to the kids in attendance. On the varsity baseball field of Scotch Plans-Fanwood High School, a group of 50-60 campers (according to company owner Joe Quagliano) learned the fundamentals of fielding, throwing, base-running, and bunting straight from Wilson. The campers were in great hands. Throughout his career, Wilson, an all-around complete player, has recorded 30,863 outs with a .982 fielding percentage, has a lifetime batting average of .274, and has stolen 327 bases.
Wilson, an energetic, hands-on coach (who also has spent time managing in the minor leagues and the MLB Futures game), was heard individually telling each camp participant ways to improve their game. As I stood near the bunting lines, I heard him constructively exclaim: “Your bat is to straight!”, “put the bat out front!”, and “move your hand out!”. Each camper left with an autographed Mookie Wilson baseball and a couple of slices of pizza. Quagliano told me: “Mookie is fantastic… he does all aspects of the game… he’s very energetic and the kids love him”.
Wilson even had time to talk with me about coaching the campers, reflecting on the 1986 season, and giving his thoughts on the 2016 Mets.
Mookie and I talk about:
– Teaching the young players the fundamentals – the importance of doing the small stuff well
– The FIRST thought that went through his mind on “the play”, in the 10th inning of game 6 (1986 World Series) when the ball went through Buckner’s legs
– ’86 team reunions – more common than we thought?
– Was the plane really that trashed on the way home?
– His thought on the 1986 World Series 30th anniversary team reunion at Citi Field this season
– His thoughts on the 2016 Mets wearing the 1986 throwback jerseys regularly
– His thoughts on and predictions for the 2016 New York Mets
– His thoughts on being inducted into New York Mets Hall of Fame
(downloadable audio interview available here: https://soundcloud.com/user-548469314… )
To book your individual instruction with a professional baseball player (current or former), contact Joe Quagliano on www.mintpros.com.
– Danielle McCartan, [email protected]