HAESE Academy Founder Derek Haese and Planet Baseball Founder Jay Quinn were college teammates at George Washington University. Good friends then, but had gone in different directions since. Hadn't seen each other, or talked in over 10 years.
In September 2017, when Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico, Jay relocated Planet Baseball's winter event to the Dominican Republic.
In November, Jay noticed a rare Facebook post from his old friend Derek. He learned then that Derek had recently left the country, and was coaching baseball in the Dominican Republic.
While planning his pre-event site visit to the Dominican Republic, Jay reached out to Derek's college girlfriend, and now wife, Susan. Together they planned a successful surprise reunion while Jay was on the island.
When together, Derek shared stories about his new life and his rewarding new work, teaching english and coaching local baseball players in his new hometown, Las Terrenas.
Jay met Derek's "peloteros" the next morning, when Derek, in true Dominican Republic form, ran bullpens and study hall in the front yard of his apartment complex.
Visiting the local field the next two mornings, Jay met local coaches, prospect-aged players, and ran a short, on-the-spot, clinic for catchers.
"Grateful for the opportunity to learn from a true professional."
Hopefully see you again soon.