September 25, 2017 - TCO
TCO, Blizzard Baseball double up
Twin Cities Orthopedics’ partnership with the Blizzard Baseball Academy and Blizzard Foundation has helped create opportunities for members of the Blizzard Elite Baseball program. TCO’s support provides the academy with access to sports medicine expertise and education, as well as provides the foundation with resources dedicated to provide financial aid to youth baseball players, award a scholarship to a graduating senior and get Blizzard players out in the community to make an impact on others who are less fortunate – helping more kids.
“TCO is affiliated with great organizations, and their culture and values line up with ours,” Blizzard owner Adam Barta said.
Blizzard Baseball Academy
Barta, a former professional pitcher and College of St. Scholastica alumnus, founded the Blizzard Baseball Academy in 2003 with a desire to help others outside the game. He said he believes baseball teaches players humility, teamwork, how to build relationships and compete, allowing individuals to use those skills off the field, too.
The academy’s 12,000-square-foot training center in Vadnais Heights is home to the Minnesota Blizzard Elite and Fall teams. The facility comes equipped with turfed batting cages and pitching lanes and allows players to hit, throw and take infield practice with room to move.
The academy offers individual lessons, strength training and provides was for players to participate in showcases, fall leagues and tournaments. Players have access to the facility 24 hours a day for group instruction or 1-on-1 lessons. Plus, there’s a gym for workouts.
The Blizzard Foundation’s three pillars are:
- Provide financial aid to youth baseball players, no matter their background or team: The foundation wants to be able to help players from all over if they need help just as much as someone who lives in the Twin Cities.
- Create the Johnny Price College Scholarship to a graduating senior: For the past two years, the foundation has been able to award three seniors with this scholarship. When Johnny Price, a senior in the Blizzard program, passed away in a car accident in 2015, one of Barta’s promises to the seniors that year was that Price’s legacy would never fade. Barta said that Price was passionate about the game and dedicated to making everyone around him better. “Leaders bring out the best of everyone on their team,” Barta said. “Johnny was that person, and it’s really the lesson I want to get across to all of our players.”
- Get Blizzard players out in the community and help others in need: This past year, the Blizzard have partnered with the Miracle League, Ronald McDonald House and Feed My Starving Children. Barta said it has been invaluable for the players to learn real-life lessons and know that their efforts make a difference outside of the game.
Youth players ages 10-18 compete through the Minnesota Blizzard Elite and Fall teams. Minnesota Blizzard attracts players from around Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota and Canada for high-level competition against teams from across the U.S.
The coaches, including Barta, have a wealth of professional experience as players, coaches and scouts.
TCO also is there for the players of Blizzard Elite Baseball to help if needed.
“The partnership with TCO gives our players and families a great resource for the top orthopedic services in Minnesota and the Midwest,” Barta said. “People rely on myself and our coaches to give them sound and good advice, whether it be on the baseball field, their decision-making process on college and pro ball and, of course, their health. To be able to provide the players and families sound advice on where to go when it comes to their health, it improves our credibility and gives them the top resources around.”