Since the late 1970s, Monte Gunter has been an integral part of the Clark County baseball and softball scene as a hitting instructor, coach and owner of Upper Deck in Camas.
As a young high school outfielder, who sprayed base hits all over the field, Monte began to study and analyze swings and misses, the batter's relationship to the pitcher and the science of putting bat to ball.
His studious approach to hitting rubbed off on his sons, one of whom became a collegiate pitcher, and the other—a feared power hitter at Camas HS, college, and for the past two decades on virtually every softball diamond in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
In almost 40 years of delivering instruction, Coach Monte estimates that he has given well over 20,000 private lessons and several thousand group lessons to countless boys and girls in Clark County. In fact, he is now presenting his take on hitting to a third generation.
In 1995, Monte opened Upper Deck Training Center in Camas and in two locations took it through an almost 11-year run, which is a record in this area among indoor baseball/softball facilities. Shortly thereafter, he became the proprietor of Monte's Baseball at the former Gold's Gym in Salmon Creek and then in Gresham. In 2012, he became one of the primary instructors at the now defunct Extra Innings in East Vancouver.
Like Johnny Carson mentored comedians for decades—Gunter, while the proprietor of Upper Deck, mentored and gave dozens of former collegiate and professional players from Southwest Washington their first opportunities in the instructional realm.
Monte's nurturing style and down-home personality has endeared him to thousands of area ballplayers and families—a fact driven home at the final game of the Portland Beavers in 2010, when Coach Monte was approached and lauded by no less than three dozen individuals before, during and after the game.
As a coach and manager, Coach Monte has guided Little League, Babe Ruth, American Legion and instructional teams. His Camas/Washougal Jags played several legendary seasons in the early 2000s.
As a batting instructor, Gunter's simple philosophy that "hitting is a journey" really hits home. As with all insightful teachers, he espouses the hitting style that works best for the individual ballplayer, whether it be rotational, lineal or a combination of the two. And even though "squishing the bug" has been exorcised from hitting lexicon, Coach Monte is still waiting for someone to explain how one can hit a baseball without rotating the rear foot while it remains connected to the ground.
Advanced Skills Baseball is proud to present Monte Gunter as...
Director of Hitting Instruction