Annual Legends camp a real winner for youngsters

Local resident Mike Wagner’s dream of meeting Cincinnati Reds players of the past who could pass on their special knowledge about the game celebrated it 20th anniversary this past week.

This year’s Reds Legends camp at Patriot Field behind VFW Post 5108 on Pike Street drew scores of young ballplayers from the Mid-Ohio Valley.

They got to work out with former big leaguers including Bret Boone, Eric Davis, Don Gullett. In the past, some of the names sharing wisdom with our youth ballplayers have included George Foster, Chris Sabo, Herm Winningham and Todd Benzinger.

Wagner’s hard work from the start has kept the camp going year after year. And the big turnout from area families shows people here are eager to learn, especially from former Cincinnati Reds ballplayers.

We especially want to thank the Reds for the team’s support for this camp held each summer, more than a four-hour drive from Great American ballpark. Year after year, the Reds show they are eager to support the Reds Legends camp.

And let’s not forget the parents’ role in the Reds Legends camps. Dads get to share cherished memories with their children how they loved watching the Big Red Machine in the ’70s, and the wire-to-wire National League champions that went on to win the World Series thanks to the heroics of Davis and Sabo, to name a few. As true baseball fans know, the game is as much about current statistics and players as it is about the glory of the past.

The Legends camps teach today’s generation and revive memories for longtime Reds fans of the Mid-Ohio Valley. And, thanks to the determination of Mike Wagner, and the Reds, it’s all happening in Marietta, every year for the past 20.