Legends for Youth Clinic Series
Don't be surprised if you see a young pitcher out of Macon, Ga., who develops a knuckleball rivaling Phil Niekro's. Or a third baseman from Denver, Colo., who moves like Brooks Robinson, or a hitter from Boston, Mass., who drives the ball like Harmon Killebrew.
Niekro, Robinson and Killebrew have taken time to participate in the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Legends for Youth clinic series. The Alumni Association has conducted dozens of free clinics and helped thousands of children over the years. Our mission is to provide a fun, positive baseball experience; to provide children with positive role models at our life skills station, where we talk to them about substance abuse, stress the importance of education and help them recognize they have the ability to make positive decisions; and, to teach young ballplayers the game's fundamentals in a multi-station format.
"The life skills station carries the most weight for the long-term," said Denny Doyle, chairman of the youth clinic series. "It carries a little more strength and power coming from a Hall of Famer. We realize that puts a great deal of responsibility on our shoulders."
The clinics are the only place in the world a young player can learn to take a lead from one of baseball's best base stealers and move on to the pitcher's mound for instruction from one of the most dominant left-handed hurlers in history. Bert Campaneris and Steve Carlton understood the day they stepped off the baseball diamond was only a beginning. Baseball never stopped calling to them.
The transition from player to teacher is a rewarding process. "There is nothing I would rather do than teach someone how to get his glove down or sign an autograph for a young player," said Robinson, president of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. "It is the least I can do to give back to a game that has given so much to me."
A former Major League Baseball player's greatest reward is watching a young player leave the field a better player, but more importantly, a better person. Baseball, its value, heritage and heroes, will always endure, and the Alumni Association knows that only by preserving and protecting what is best about the game can we remain a valued member of the baseball family.
"We have found, through our youth clinics and the clinicians who devote their time, how strong we are as an Alumni Association," Doyle said. "Our goal since day one was to create a presence in the youth baseball field, and we have done that."
For more information on the clinics listed here, as well as to find out how to bring one of these events to your hometown, please contact Geoff Hixson at firstname.lastname@example.org