A Big League Experience Blast from the Past
Here we are at the seventh inning stretch of our venerable baseball camp. It’s time to stand up and look around at what goes on down at the community centre every summer. The creation of a far-sighted resident Don Coy over 42 years ago, the Big League Experience baseball camp has become more than a local tradition. Drawing boys and girls from around the world, it is an opportunity for them to practice under the watchful eye of true professionals. Big League players and coaches make this a unique experience.
Our boys (and girls) of summer form a huge alumni of people for whom their special summer in Oliver forms one of the most lasting memories. Each year the arena is turned into a bunkhouse and batting cages and ball cannons are erected on the playing fields so that a new baseball camp of eager rookies can live, eat, sleep and dream baseball. All this goes on quietly and unobtrusively down at the community center so that many people are not even aware that it is even taking place. So lets all stand up and sing a few choruses of “take me out to the ball game” giving a loud cheer from the cheap bleacher seats for a great institution. May it enjoy endless extra innings.
Letter to Marty Lehn from Tyler Klippenstein
I can’t remember anytime in my life that was more fun or more inspirational than the Okanagan Baseball camps. Whether it was your instruction, the competitions, the ping pong tournament or you and Colin peppering balls over the outfield fence, your camp was a thrill and I never would have made it this far without you. You have a great way of bringing out the best in a player without taking away any joy from the game and that is a gift Marty. I’m sure I have told you this before but I’m telling you again. You were a very influential person on my road through college to professional baseball. You were the reason I spent the best three years of my life in Lethbridge for the Prairie Dawgs and I can’t thank you enough.
I really hope to see all you guys soon whether it be helping out with clinics like you mentioned or perhaps me playing for the Canadians in the upcoming season. Thanks again Marty.
Today the camp is as strong as ever, with top notch instructors from the majors, and a world class facility. Current owners, Marty Lehn and Colin Dixon share their knowledge with hundreds of players each year. Their students make it all the way and are crediting the baseball camp as one of the stepping stones to their success.
By Lisa Joy, Oliver Chronicle, Thursday, August 8, 2001