The following article appeared in the Connecticut Recreation Newsletter in 1999. In 2008 Chris became the first player in the 71 year history of the Western Mass. Tri-County league to amass 1000 hits. He is also the all-time leader in hits in the Connecticut Men’s Senior Baseball League. Corkum has continued to expand Corkum’s Baseball into many different directions including daily off-season instruction and winter indoor leagues. Chris also works in the legal field as an expert witness in baseball liability cases.
Chris Corkum — "Covering All the Bases"
By day, from September to June, Chris Corkum teaches Social Studies to high school students in East Windsor, Connecticut. Like most teachers, he looks forward to the end of the school year, and Summer Vacation. But instead of using the summer break to take a rest from teaching, Chris Corkum waits to start teaching again. During the summer, though, the subject matter changes-to baseball.
Since 1984, Corkum has been director of Chris Corkum's Baseball, Inc., the business he founded to blend his love of teaching kids with his love for the game of baseball.
In his youth, Corkum dreamed of becoming a major league baseball player. After an outstanding high school playing career, he went on to American Legion ball before landing on the Providence College squad in 1970. Like many other hopeful college baseball players, though, there were no offers from the majors. Corkum continued with his education and received his degree from PC in 1974. The love of baseball continued.
After graduation, Corkum came home to Connecticut and started playing in the Hartford Twilight League while continuing his education at Springfield College. In 1977, the year he received his Masters Degree in Education and Recreation, he was hired to teach at East Windsor High School. The connection between teaching and baseball continued to develop as Corkum became coach of area varsity high school teams.
In 1984, Corkum decided that the best way to maintain his connection between teaching and baseball was to create his own baseball school. Since its beginning, Chris Corkum's Baseball, Inc. has become renowned throughout Southern New England for the excellence of its baseball programs.
Players of all ages, from tee-ballers to adults, come for private instruction to the batting cages and pitchers mounds which are located in a secluded rural area behind the East Windsor home Corkum shares with his wife Paula and their 12 year old son Kevin. Leading the instruction is a cadre of coaches-as many as 20-25 at the height of the season-including college players and coaches from schools such as Yale, UConn, UMass and Boston College, among others. Some have scouting affiliations with major league teams. They share in common the pleasure they get from being outdoors hearing the crack of the bats, the constant whirring of the pitching machines and the chatter of kids of all ages as they play ball. Baseball is serious fun for these guys and gals.
Corkum's private "Field of Dreams" is just one place to get his special brand of baseball instruction for kids. Each springs and summer he take the "show on the road" to towns across Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. Working with town Park and Recreation Departments and Little League associations, Corkum conducts Summer Baseball Camps for groups numbering roughly 20 to 100. The camps teach baseball fundamentals such as pitching, hitting, baserunning, fielding, strategy and of course, good sportsmanship. A hit with the adults as well as the kids, Corkum finds himself being asked back each year to runs the camps. The number of locations continues to grow. This year, Chris Corkum's Baseball, Inc. will conduct about 25 Summer Camps for nearly 1,300 kids. About half this number sign-up to receive private lessons.
As if this isn't enough, Corkum personally conducts Coaches Clinics for hundred of Little League coaches which review the best ways to teach baseball skills to kids. Here the main message is; "Whatever you do, make it fun." Corkum elaborates by saying; "We teach our players to become more successful ballplayers. No matter what you do, the better you get at it the more fun you'll have doing it."
Throughout this busy summer, Corkum, 47, will manage to play in nearly 100 games in two different semi-pro leagues, usually at first base or in the outfield. When asked why he fills his summer with so much baseball, he answers with a smile; "I guess I never really wanted to grow up."