A good cause, written by Stony Brook University's athletic communications staff ...
Former Stony Brook University and current Miami Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler never forgets where he came from. The New Rochelle, N.Y., native and graduate of New Rochelle High School saw the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the metropolitan New York area and immediately felt the need to help.
The 26-year-old right-hander, who graduated from Stony Brook in 2008, has created a one-day clinic called Pitch For Relief (@Pitch4Relief), to be held on Saturday, Dec. 1 (12-4 p.m.) at two locations -- Joe Nathan Field on Stony Brook University's campus and Marlins Park in Miami. Baseball players ages 9-18 are eligible to sign up and learn fundamentals from professional baseball players. All proceeds from the clinics will go to the United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.
"Growing up in New York, it was tough seeing areas I regularly visited get destroyed," Koehler said. "Stony Brook University helped me get to where I am today on the baseball field, and I want to use that platform to give back to the community that helped raise me. It means a lot to be able to use such a wonderful facility as Joe Nathan Field as well as Marlins Park in Miami. Plus, during the holiday season, what better time to give to those in need than now?"
In 2012, Koehler became the second Stony Brook baseball alumnus to reach the major leagues, joining Texas Rangers closer and MLB All-Star Joe Nathan '97. He made his debut on Sept. 5 against Milwaukee, pitching two innings. On Sept. 17, he struck out five hitters in a two-inning appearance against Atlanta. He closed the season by making his first career start against the New York Mets on Oct. 3.
A two-time, All-America East second team selection, Koehler finished his four-year Stony Brook career second in program history in innings pitched (293.1) and third in strikeouts (297). He was a part of the 2008 America East Championship winning team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He was drafted by the Marlins in the 18th round of the 2008 MLB Draft and played low A minor league ball that year. In 2009, he moved up to high-A ball and then had a breakout year in 2010 for the AA Jacksonville Suns, when he went 16-2 with a 2.61 ERA. He moved up to AAA for the 2011 and 2012 seasons before earning the promotion to the big leagues this past summer.
To sign up for the clinic, visit the Joe Nathan Field registration page or the Marlins Park registration page. For people unable to attend but would still like to donate, visit the online giving page. Also be sure to like Pitch4Relief on Facebook and follow up-to-date information on Twitter @Pitch4Relief.