Matt Barnes continues to help his community heal.
Barnes, who grew up in Bethel, Conn., hosted a free baseball clinic for kids in Newtown, Conn., on Sunday. It marked the Boston Red Sox prospect’s second clinic since the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that occurred Dec. 14, 2012.
“I knew I wanted to do something,” Barnes told MLB.com. “What better way for me to do it than through baseball?”
Barnes was joined at the event by San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik, Houston Astros outfielder George Springer and minor leaguers Troy Scribner (Astros), Conor Bierfeldt (Baltimore Orioles), Alex McKeon (Red Sox) and Zach Albin (Orioles), all of whom have local ties. Former Red Sox pitcher Craig Breslow, a Yale product who currently is a free agent, also attended the event.
About 200 7- to 15-year-olds reportedly attended the clinic, which lasted about four hours. Barnes plans to host the event again next year, realizing it’s one small step toward bringing some normalcy back to a community impacted by such a catastrophic event.
“Not only does it show how good friends they are,” Barnes said, “but it really shows how much they care about giving back to the community as well, wanting to come out and help the kids have a fun day.
“I’m very fortunate to have guys like that.”
Photo via John Rieger/USA TODAY Sports Images