Members of the University Liggett School baseball team recently took part in a Detroit PAL clinic to  teach the game to younger kids. Knights coach Dan Cimini  is hoping to make it an annual thing.

Members of the University Liggett School baseball team recently took part in a Detroit PAL clinic to teach the game to younger kids. Knights coach Dan Cimini is hoping to make it an annual thing.

Photo provided by University Liggett School


Liggett partners with Detroit PAL for sports clinics

By: Zachary Manning | Grosse Pointe Times | Published May 25, 2021

GROSSE POINTE WOODS/DETROIT — Though the University Liggett School baseball team has found loads of success on the field over the years, perhaps one of the best experiences of recent memory was an opportunity to help away from their home diamond.

The Knights recently headed to The Corner Ballpark in Detroit in partnership with the Detroit Police Athletic League to provide a clinic for youth baseball players and PAL coaches.

According to its website, in partnership with the Detroit Police Department and community volunteers, Detroit PAL is helping youth find their greatness through athletic, academic, and leadership development programs.

“Sports keeps kids out of trouble. It kept me out of trouble and saved my life,” Liggett baseball coach Dan Cimini said. “If I can help these kids understand that staying out of trouble and playing sports, and that’s what PAL does. They do a fantastic job, and they have so many programs. If I can help in any way, I told them I’ll do it for the rest of my life if I can help them out.”

The players clinic covered baseball fundamentals from proper throwing, grounding balls, batting stance, catching fly balls, pitching, real-game scenarios and running the bases. Cimini also ran a coaching clinic for all PAL coaches.

For Cimini, a lifelong Tigers fan and a board member for the Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association, it’s about helping the game grow, especially in the inner city.

He noted that the kids were very grateful for the opportunity to meet the players, learn from him and his team and get some active participation outside.

Cimini is hoping to build this partnership with Detroit PAL in hopes that it becomes an annual tradition downtown.

“I think there was such a great sense of accomplishment for our players. They were so good with these kids,” Cimini said. “There isn’t a state championship ring in the world that’s worth what I just saw today for the last three hours. To watch these kids that I care so much about giving back to these young kids and getting a bond with them, it just shows me what great, great kids they are.”

Going forward, there have been talks about getting other Liggett sports coaches and players involved in PAL programs.

One of those discussed has been with soccer coach David Dwaihy. Nothing is set in stone at this time, but Dwaihy is excited about the possibility of getting his players involved with PAL to teach fundamentals.

Dwaihy is involved with Detroit City FC, a professional team in Detroit, and has done clinics with PAL in previous years.

“When you do these sorts of things and you work with the younger population, there’s a sense of connection that happens right away and you don’t want to lose the potential there and leave it as a one-time thing,” Dwaihy said. “It’s really important to follow up and have a sustained relationship with these sorts of organizations, so that it becomes something substantial.

“Ideally, we get to a point where it’s just an expected thing every year and we put it on the calendar. Whether it’s a clinic that we’re hosting or we go and take part in some of their programming, having a real meaningful, substantial relationship with them would be great.”