Blizzard Baseball Academy is pleased and proud to announce the creation of the Blizzard Foundation. The Foundation will have two key objectives. The first will be to provide financial aid for families and players participating in athletics who are in need. The second is to build a scholarship program – The Johnny Price College Scholarship – which will support a student-athlete who exemplifies the qualities of Johnny Price.
“Price was a person who every athlete should strive to be,” said Adam Barta, founder of Blizzard Baseball Academy and Head Coach of the Minnesota Blizzard. “He was a vibrant young man who positively impacted the lives of others and made every single one of his teammates better.”
John “Johnny” Price IV (1997-2015) has been recognized by his peers as one of the best players and teammates ever to step on the field in a Blizzard uniform. A Division 1 recruit and very talented hitter, Price was a versatile player, manning the outfield and corner infield positions, as well as logging innings as a hard-throwing right hander. At the plate, Price hit in the middle of the order, leading his Blizzard teams to the playoffs in eight separate tournaments, including three championships between 2013-2015.
Price had one of, if not the top, offensive weekends in Blizzard history in the 2015 ScoutStop August Select tournament. Price hit three home runs, including two at Jack Ruhr Field and another in the championship game at CHS Field in St. Paul. Over the course of the tournament, Price went 10-for-16, posting a .625 batting average with 10 RBIs and six runs to go along with the three homers.
While Price’s contributions were clearly valued on the field, what truly made him an MVP was his impact away from the diamond. Price, who was a friend to everyone, was the center of every Blizzard activity from team-building exercises to fun in the hotel and van rides to and from the ballpark. He taught younger players how to play and practice, leading with great effort and an even better attitude.
Price passed away in 2015 following an automobile accident.
“There have been many wonderful people in the Blizzard program since 2003, and Johnny was one of the greatest,” Barta said. “People will ask why such an amazing person was taken so early, but I like to think about how incredibly lucky I was to have known him while he was here.”
Beyond commemorating such an incredible person and talented baseball player, the Blizzard Foundation will also raise money to support families and players who could not otherwise participate in athletics.
“It has long been a goal of mine to create a non-profit portion of our organization,” Barta said. “We’ve always been a place where, if you are good enough to play, you are playing no matter what. This foundation is going to create more opportunities for players, as well as opening up an opportunity for us to award college scholarships to our seniors.”
Outlined in its mission statement, the Blizzard Foundation is “to serve and provide opportunity to youth and young adults via scholarship and education to inspire them to be outstanding citizens, students, and athletes.”
Jeff Huth, a former Blizzard player himself and an accomplished teacher of the Twin Cities, will serve as Director of the Blizzard Foundation. In his role, Huth will run charity events including golf and baseball tournaments, foster goodwill partnerships with individuals and businesses and run the Foundation with the same principles that has made the Blizzard baseball programs so successful.
“The Blizzard Foundation is going to offer more than just the chance to play baseball across the country; it’s going to offer the opportunities for young men to take the next step off of the field into becoming young adults,” Huth said. “The Blizzard Foundation will offer opportunities for our players to engage in service learning and become outstanding community members. With this mindset and supporters, the Blizzard Foundation has the ability to grow into something that can impact more than just the Twin Cities region.”
Huth has been connected to the Blizzard for the past eight years as both a former player and now Blizzard Elite coach. Huth won the “Montana” Coach of the year Award in 2015 when he led is Blizzard 14u team to a USSSA #1 National ranking.
“Huth is beyond talented in his ability to connect with people,” Barta said. “His ability to inspire his team, his students and the people around him are what is going to make the Foundation grow. I am so excited to have him on board.”
The Blizzard Foundation’s 1st fundraiser will be a golf tournament August 5th at Riverwood Golf Course in Monticello. You can sign your team up at on our website: www.blizzardelitebaseball.com. In 2017, Brackett’s Crossing Country Club will host this annual tournament.
Information on the Blizzard Foundation can be found on www.blizzardelitebaseball.com.
About the Minnesota Blizzard
The Minnesota Blizzard is the most successful traveling and club baseball program in Minnesota and among the top select teams in the Midwest winning 59 national tournaments and placing in the top four 147 times since 2003.
The Blizzard draws players ages 10u-18u from all around Minnesota including Albert Lea to Duluth and also has had several players from the Dakotas, Iowa, Wisconsin and even Canada.
Our coaches, led by owner, Adam Barta, features former 87/91 World Series winner, Al Newman, Joe Loftus (Vanderbilt/DBacks), Mike Loberg (SF Giants), Ben Moore (NY Yankees), Lonnie Robinson (SP Saints), Jesse Tollefson (Assoc. Scout, Blue Jays), Eddie Gerald (MN Twins) and many other top-tier instructors and coaches.
Our Blizzard Baseball Academy, which is a core part of the Blizzard, offers individual lessons, strength training and has avenues for our players to participate in showcases, fall leagues and tournaments.
Over 250 players have committed to play college baseball and another 34 have drafted been drafted or signed as free agents in the last ten years. It is one of the most well-respected programs in the Midwest and has garnered attention from Kare 11, ESPN 1500, Fox9, Channel 6, the Star Tribune and the Upper Deck Report among others.
Our vision and values of the Blizzard Big 5 drive our core values, guide players through their youth years, into high school and onto both college and professional baseball.
Play with the best in the state against the best in the country. Blizzard Baseball.