Matt Soren: Baseball’s Global Ambassador

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Matt Soren interacts
with an elephant on a safari in South Africa.

Long Island’s Matt Soren has enjoyed a productive career in the game he loves. A graduate of both Roslyn High School and the University of Delaware, Soren was chosen in the 19th round by the Philadelphia Phillies and immediately signed a minor league contract. He played professionally for the Philadelphia Phillies, the New Jersey Jackals, the Long Island Ducks and the Washington Wild Things.

That’s only part of Soren’s baseball story.

Soren has also has plenty of coaching experience as he has traveled overseas to promote the game of baseball. In recent years, Soren coached the Maitland Giants of South Africa and also the Glenelg Tigers in Australia. In addition, Soren, with fellow Long Island baseball pro Zach Goldstein, founded travel baseball teams called Pro Diamond Select. Goldstein and Soren will each be coaching a team come this spring to give professional instruction to dedicated baseball players.

“The values that we learned from baseball have taught us so much,” Soren said. “Not only in baseball, but for life ahead. We want to be role models and emphasize the importance of leadership, responsibility, dedication and battling adversity.”

Pro Diamond Select, Soren said, will have 7u to 9u development teams and 10u to 12u travel baseball teams. Goldstein will be coaching the 10u team, while Soren will be coaching the 12u team. Both Goldstein and Soren will be running professional practices, along with other professional guests, developing 7u to 9u players using professional and collegiate drills.

Soren’s coaching experiences, especially in South Africa, have made an impact on his desire to teach not only baseball skills, but life skills, too. Or as he tells in a recent Facebook post:

“It’s early 2015, and I’m sitting on my porch in Adelaide, Australia, where I was playing that winter, and I get an email: ‘Hi Matt, Can you send me your contact telephone number so I can call you to discuss playing baseball for our club (Maitland Giants) in Cape Town and possibly working with my sports NPO—www.playsport4life.org. —Miles October.’ I had been out of college a couple years and while I was finished playing baseball in the Phillies farm system, I was still chasing my dream of making it back to the show. At this point in my career, I wanted to use the game I love to go places I couldn’t have gone otherwise. With an opportunity to go to a place like South Africa and help out a good cause, I didn’t need much convincing.

“The man who had put this opportunity on my radar, Miles October, is the founder of PlaySport4Life.”

On their social media page, they describe themselves as “a nonprofit organization using sport to change peoples lives.”

The program has multiple facilities on board to be donation drop-offs. For those interested in donating, message @Matt_Soren36 or @ProDiamondTraining on Instagram or Twitter to find out more.

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Joe Scotchie is the editor of both The Roslyn News and New Hyde Park Illustrated News. In 2009, he won a New York State Press Association (NYPA) award for a sports feature. Joseph Scotchie’s past publications include biographies of Thomas Wolfe and Richard Weaver and a comprehensive history of the city of Asheville, North Carolina.

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