ABOUT JOE SPERLE
Joe Sperle is a Professional Baseball & Sports Trailblazer, Executive & Consultant, and Founder of the Freedom Pro Baseball Minor League and has over 30 years of sports playing and professional coaching experience. Masters’ World Series & Father-Son World Series Champions, All-American and National Champion, and Inductee to the Softball Hall of Fame.
Joe trailblazed and started 4 professional minor league baseball teams creating and overseeing all business, stadium and baseball operations and signed and coached over 200 talented college players to their first pro contract with the Freedom Pro Baseball Minor League playing at the state-of-the art San Francisco Giants, Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, and Cincinnati Reds spring training stadiums in Phoenix, AZ.
Joe has also coached and mentored over 300 Little League All-Stars and High School All-Region and All-State players who went on to attend college on a baseball scholarship. 48 players he coached were drafted by the Braves, Nationals, Brewers, White Sox , Red Sox, Dodgers, Yankees, Phillies, A's, Rays, Royals, Mariners, Rangers, Angels & Diamondbacks.
Arizona baseball guru Sperle hosts Cottonwood clinic
26 March 2019
Professional baseball coach Joe Sperle returned to Cottonwood to host another baseball clinic on Saturday, March 23.
“The Verde Valley is a great area with a lot of support, and the parents had asked if another camp was coming,” Sperle said. “Marshall Shill was in town and we both agreed that it would be great to keep the tradition going.”
Sperle has been involved with baseball for over 30 years and has trained Cottonwood players since 2007. Clinic leaders instructed kids on hitting, throwing and pitching.
Sperle trained Shill to pitch starting at age 13. Shill is a former Verde Valley Little League All-Star State runner-up, Mingus High baseball and football standout. During Shill’s senior campaign, he went 7-3 and posted a 2.78 earned run average. Shill pitched two years for South Mountain Community College and Lindenwood University near St. Louis, finishing sixth in the NCAA Division II World Series his junior season.
Sperle and Shill created the clinic to help the players improve their baseball skills and carry on the great baseball tradition of the Verde Valley.“I think the biggest thing is learning hitting fundamentals and bringing back having fun to baseball,” Sperle said. “There seems to be too much pressure to succeed in baseball instead of appreciating the sport in its entirety.” Sperle also emphasized the mental aspects of baseball to better prepare younger players.
“I have seen too many players that played baseball too much and end up getting burnt out from the sport,” Sperle said. “It is always good to take a break, especially if you are resting your throwing arm.” Sperle said he believes baseball players should rest for a minimum of two months for maximum production.
“Professional baseball players typically take two months off, which should be the same protocol for high school players on down,” Sperle said. While every athlete aspires to make the professional ranks, Sperle said, What gets forgotten is that baseball is meant for pleasure."
“It is great to ascend from the high school ranks to college and pro ball but it is not easy,” Sperle said. “Baseball is getting more competitive by the day, so I hope players can still keep everything in perspective.” Though athletes hate resting and recharging, it will help keep players fresh in the long run, Sperle said.
“In this warm weather area, a lot of players play 11 months out of the year, which often has negative consequences,” Sperle said. “Some coaches develop a win-at-all-costs mentality, which can lead to overuse injuries.” The camp also focused on proper throwing techniques for aspiring players.“Not many players have a natural throwing motion, and it takes a lot to learn the proper technique,” Sperle said. “Players that learn the proper way at a young age can really develop into solid players.”
For Sperle, baseball carries a different meaning in the Verde Valley.“I think baseball in this area represents a blue-collar, hardworking community and the athletes follow suit,” Sperle said.“After working with the high school players individually that started in 2007, there is a lot of talent in Cottonwood.” Mingus won the Arizona State Baseball Tournament back-to-back in 2008 & 2009.