Bo Porter could easily have moved onto the next phase of his career and found something else fulfilling to do with his life.
But the former Astros manager remains committed to sharing the knowledge he has gained with the young baseball players of tomorrow. As far as Porter is concerned, it’s the least he can do.
“For me, baseball has been so good to me, so good to my family, and because I’m a baseball lifer and I want to see the game continue to grow, that’s why I give back to the game,” said Porter, 48. “That’s why this is so important to me. It doesn’t make any sense to have learned all of the things in which I have learned and walk away and go, `Well, it’s not my responsibility to teach it to anybody else.’ I take that very serious.”
Shortly after his profession playing and coaching careers ended, Porter established the Bo Porter Future All-Stars Sports Development Academy with the goal of helping young players develop the skills necessary to maximize their abilities. Today his academy works with players of all levels.
The Defender recently talked with Porter about his upcoming winter break camps, his passion for working with youth baseball players and the still lagging numbers of African Americans playing baseball.
What has been like going from working with Major League Baseball players to teaching young players who aren’t nearly as developed?
“When you think about managing and coaching, realistically, you are a teacher. And whether you are teaching George Springer at the major league level or whether you are teaching a nine-year-old, you are teaching the basic fundamentals of the game. When you start to think about the basic fundamentals of the game they don’t change. The only thing that happens is the fields get larger and the audience gets larger. And if you are blessed enough to where they are paying you, they are now paying you. But it’s the same game you played in little league.”
Where does your passion for helping youth come from?
“Sports has been very instrumental in my life. I believe that sports is an institution of higher learning. When you think about all of the many things that you can learn from playing sports, whether it’s work ethic, teamwork, fortitude, and you look at a sport like baseball where if you go 3-for-10 for the entirety of your career and you are able to play for a long time you are going into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That means you failed 70 percent of the time. Where else in life can you fail 70 percent of the time and be considered one of the greats?”
Why is that baseball no longer seems to resonate with African-American youth and our community the way it once did?
“The decline in baseball in the Black community has to do with the efforts that the NBA and NFL and some of the other sports have made in the Black communities. But I also think that when you look at baseball, it has become a pay-to-play model. When you look at the pay-to-play model for families that are economically challenged it’s difficult to pay these select baseball fees, these tournament fees and all of the travel that comes with it.”
What: The Bo Porter Future All-Stars Baseball Winter Break Skills & Drills Camp
For: Youth ages 7-18
Sessions: Dec. 21-23 and Dec. 28-30
Cost: $250 per session
For more information to register: https://boporterfass.com/events/bo-porter-future-all-stars-baseball-winter-break-skills-drills-camp/.