04/14/07 11:40 PM ET
Youth get baseball essentials at clinic
Current, former Dodgers on hand at Urban Youth Academy
By Christie Cowles / MLB.com
"It's fun having a chance to give back, to come out here and just encourage kids," said Anderson. "The theme is baseball, but I think it's more about life than anything -- to encourage them to work hard at whatever it is they do, and enjoy playing the game."This is a great facility for baseball, I wish I had something like this when I was growing up. It's just good to be out here and be amongst the kids." Cy Brown, 13, from Long Beach, Calif., is a participant in the Urban Youth Academy's baseball programs and took part in the Jackie Robinson Day clinic. "It was great, I liked having all the Dodgers here, it was really fun," Brown said. Brown has been playing baseball since he was four years old and he enjoyed getting advice from the Dodgers players. "I learned how to throw better, but I've still got to practice on that," he said. Brown said his favorite part of the clinic was the hitting station. He enjoyed the clinic because it gave him a chance to continue improving his skills. "My goal right now is to make it to college ball, and then after that make it to the Minor Leagues and Major Leagues," he said. Brown's father, Michael Brown, encouraged his son to try baseball and has coached him since he began playing. "The clinic is awesome, it's just an opportunity for all the inner-city kids and it's a beautiful thing for the Major League Baseball players to take their time to come out," he said. The older Brown said he especially enjoyed hearing Newcombe speak to the kids. "Man, Newcombe was the one for me, when he told the story about Jackie Robinson," said Brown. "Jackie Robinson was a little bit before my time, but I most definitely knew about him and his legacy. It was just an honor for me to watch my son be involved in something of a magnitude like this." He said he appreciates having the Urban Youth Academy nearby and that his son is able to participate in its programs. "I can be assured that these guys that are running the program take good care of [my son]," he said. "They're doing more than baseball with them, they're doing homework labs, and just showing him how to be a young man and walk the proper way of life."
Christie Cowles is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.