Discovering a Local Baseball Guru

by | 21 October, 2020

Doug Remer

Discovering a Local Baseball Guru

As a Little League baseball coach, I love to uncover new drills and techniques to help kids refine their skills and sharpen their focus. So in February 2020 when our league notified the coaches about a coaching clinic to be held at a local elementary school, I jumped at the chance to check it out.

I like to think I am a good coach who can teach the fundamentals of baseball while building camaraderie among a team of kids. But the guy who was scheduled to lead this coaching clinic—Doug Remer—seemed to have some impressive credentials. So off I went that Saturday morning to check it out.

Within five minutes of watching and listening to the presenter, I thought to myself, “who is this guy?” He was a ball of entirely positive energy. And he really knew his stuff! He showed us some fun drills using mini whiffle balls, motivational exercises using baseball cards, and other cool outside-the-box ideas to help us rethink Little League coaching. The 90 minute-session went by in a flash but made quite an impression on me. I realized I wanted to tap into Doug’s knowledge more than the brief clinic allowed.

At the risk of sounding like a stalker, I followed up on the coaching clinic by sending Doug a Facebook friend request, which he accepted. And I set out to learn a little more about him and how he accumulated his baseball coaching ideas and techniques.

Reading about Doug’s baseball background, I quickly realized that I had opened Pandora’s Box. He has seen and done it all—coaching baseball at nearly every level imaginable, from Little League up to the professional ranks. And he was a local DC-area baseball player who leaned on his feisty determination to achieve some spectacular accolades along the way.

Who is This Guy?

Digging into Doug’s impressive career, I learned that in 2019 he earned a World Series ring as an 11-year employee of the Washington Nationals. He also previously served as an assistant coach with the Bowie Baysox (the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) and spent 10 summers as a college summer league head coach. Twenty-two of the college summer league players he coached were later drafted by Major League Baseball (MLB) teams.

He is so passionate about the game that he cannot help but share his baseball joy with others. He is co-founder of the RBI Program, a nonprofit organization providing free baseball and softball opportunities to kids in need. And he hosts a variety of baseball clinics for coaches and baseball organizations, much like the Little League coaching clinic I attended.

Thanks to Facebook, Doug and I kept in touch a bit through the pandemic. And as a writer who loves baseball, I thought it would be fun to write about him and how he built his baseball playing and coaching career.

Catching Up with Doug

One day he offered to work on hitting with my 11-year-old son Luke. And after that coaching session Doug and I sat down and chatted about his career and his philosophy. In the days leading up to that session, Luke excitedly told all his friends about how he was going to have a chance to work one-on-one with this awesome coach.

Luke and I met up with Doug on a Sunday morning in October 2020 at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, MD. This was very fitting, as it is the place where it all began for Doug.

In fact, he is a newly minted 2020 inductee in the Albert Einstein High School Athletic Hall of Fame in honor of his past glory. During his senior season at Einstein, Doug was voted Most Athletic Male and was named MVP and team captain in varsity baseball. In addition to being a four-year starter in varsity baseball, Doug also played basketball and football.

And at that time, the thought of eventually coaching baseball was already percolating in his head. Doug told me he was about 15 years old when the idea of coaching first occurred to him. Which is rather astonishing, as most 15-year-old athletes can’t see past the end of their own nose. What 15-year-old thinks about coaching other people?

Doug is just different that way. He is the type of guy who goes to sleep at night thinking about coaching baseball and wakes up the next morning still thinking about it. So what is his guiding philosophy when it comes to coaching kids?

“Be the most aggressive player out there, and have fun,” said Doug. “I want players to love the game. I want them to be crazy out there. Hustle. Sprint to your position.”

He also has coined a term: “outpsychologicalize.” Doug said his favorite part of coaching is to “outpsychologicalize” opponents and their coaches.

School of Hard Knocks

Given his credentials, you might assume Doug has won a lot of games as a player and coach over the years. But interestingly, Doug explains that losing—and lots of it—is what has driven him and what he has learned the most from.

“As far back as middle school I always played on teams that didn’t have a lot of pitching, or didn’t have as much depth as other teams,” explained Doug. “I think at one point my record was something crazy like six wins and 160 losses if you count middle school and high school. Through all that losing I developed an anger and a passion to be better. And I learned how to compete with limited resources, when a team is overmatched in terms of talent.”

“I grew up losing but I felt lucky to be on losing teams,” he continued. “You learn a lot from losing.”

All that losing only stoked Doug’s competitive fire. And despite the losing, he managed to distinguish himself as a player. In high school, Doug was one of only two shortstops in Montgomery County (MD) selected to play on the Montgomery County All-Star Travel Team. He was named MVP of the Roberto Clemente All-Star Tournament vs. Puerto Rico’s All Stars; MVP of the Montgomery County High School Senior All-Star Game; MVP of the Maryland Senior All-Star Baseball Classic Tournament; MVP for American Legion Post 268; and runner-up for Montgomery County Legion Player of the Year. He also received the Sportsmanship Award for Montgomery County. As a senior at Einstein, he batted an astonishing .510, was a perfect 16-16 in stolen base attempts, and did not strike out once.

From there, Doug went on to play college baseball for Montgomery College—Germantown; Howard University; and Savannah State University. He was named team captain and MVP at both Howard and Savannah State.

Whether as a high school or a college player, Doug’s innate coaching instincts always bubbled to the surface. He had a knack for helping teach and motivate his teammates, which resulted in his being named team captain just about everywhere he played.

The Coach Emerges

After his playing days ended, it didn’t take Doug long to break into coaching. He was working as a trainer at a health club when he noticed a man walking the track wearing a “St. John’s” hoodie (St. John’s College High School in Washington, DC). Doug spoke with the man, who told him that St. John’s was in the market for a junior varsity baseball coach.

The man ended up introducing Doug to head varsity coach Mark Gibbs, who offered Doug the JV job. Doug eventually went on to coach the varsity baseball teams at Springbrook (Silver Spring, MD) and at Einstein.

But it was during a brief stint as an assistant coach with the Bowie Baysox that he realized he was onto something with this coaching career. “I was surrounded by great coaches at Bowie, and I realized I already knew all the things they were teaching the players,” he said. “That gave me confidence and made me realize I was on the right track.”

Other coaching experiences that molded Doug include coaching a college all-star team alongside former MLB players B.J. Surhoff and Brady Anderson in 2016, competing against some of the top professional teams in Cuba. He also worked with 10 of the top Taiwanese college players here in the United States, all 10 of whom are now professional baseball players in Taiwan.

Doug Remer Today

Today, Doug is establishing an athletic training program designed to develop players in baseball, football and basketball. He just created a new website at

Whether coaching professional baseball players or working one-on-one with my 11-year-old on a cool Sunday morning in October, Doug just can’t get enough. I keep him posted on Luke’s Little League games, and he looks at videos of Luke’s swings and gives feedback. He has an infectious personality and a unique passion and sincerity about coaching baseball.

I sure wasn’t expecting to stumble upon this remarkable baseball guru when I headed out the door to attend the coaching clinic back in February 2020. But I feel lucky that I did.

Patrick Bernat is a freelance writer based in Silver Spring, MD. Contact: