Matt Nokes, the former New York Yankees catcher, is coming to town to talk about a passion of his - baseball.
Nokes will be part of a three-day clinic at Saint Martin’s beginning today, working morning and afternoon sessions.
“Matt is a special guy. He’s high energy,” said Matt Acker, Saint Martin’s assistant coach who is hosting the clinic. “He’s found something that he’s very passionate about.”
Nokes was drafted in 1981 by the San Francisco Giants in the 20th round, beginning an 11-year career in the majors that ended in 1995 with Colorado. He played for the Giants, Detroit Tigers, Yankees and the Colorado Rockies. He was an All-Star in 1987 while with Detroit.
Last season, Nokes, who lives in San Diego, was the hitting instructor for the Class A Potomac Nationals.
“Matt has this youthful, excited approach,” Acker said. “He’s pumped up.”
Acker met Nokes last summer at a baseball clinic in Hawaii. The two hit it off from the start and developed a friendship. When Acker asked him to come to Lacey to do a clinic, Nokes agreed. Nokes had just one request. He wanted to be sure his expenses were covered.
“And that’s not much,” Acker said. “He’s staying at my house. It’s not like he demanded first-class seating.”
Acker said that doesn’t mean Nokes puts on a half-hearted clinic, cutting out early. In Hawaii, Acker noticed that Nokes was usually the last coach to leave.
“Matt is a guy who loves life,” Acker said. “He’s a guy everyone wants to be around. He’s funny and he’s energetic.”
The morning sessions run from 9 a.m. to noon and are for players age 13-15. The afternoon sessions run from 1-4 p.m. and are for players 16 and up. For more information and to sign up, go online at smusaints.com or email Acker at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost is $325.
The camp’s emphasis is on hitting. Nokes will videotape players while hitting and he’ll analyze their swings.