Reds clinic thanks all supporters

The 26th anniversary of the Cincinnati Reds Legends Youth Baseball and Softball clinic came off as a resounding success due to local volunteers and sponsors. Good dedicated people are always the reason for good times and great memories to be made at the annual event. Future Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame pitcher Bronson Arroyo was absolutely spectacular concluding his back to back year of attending the local Reds camp. Bronson’s 2019 encore was amazing! Once again, he strived to be the very best that he could be, by working with the children at the pitching station throwing off of the mound. I would have never thought he could top last year’s stellar performance. But at the 2019 camp, he was off-the-charts amazing! It was the best instruction I have ever seen in 26 years worth of instructional camps. He broke it down for each age group, and really helped them with mechanics, grips, control and the mental part of the game.

But even though Bronson was absolutely magnificent, he didn’t do it all alone — he was surrounded by 26-year veteran to the local Reds camp Leo “Chico” Cardenas, who worked with campers on infield drills. Leo was Leo again, outstanding, warm and a living monument to baseball and the Cincinnati Reds.

Reds Camp veteran Hall of Fame second Baseman Ron Oester was also in attendance and worked on base running skills and was his jovial self as always. And on top of that, throw in a volunteer staff that is second to none when it comes to freely giving of themselves. Local coaches Tim Moore, Barry Smith, Joe Matheny, Jim Wilhelm, Daniel Wagner, Kevin Pierson, Mike Wagner Jr., Jacob Wagner, Ryan Wagner, John Wickline, Ty Wickline, Jonathan Farley, Ron Casci and Steve Lutz did an outstanding job as usual. Special thanks also goes out to Marietta College Head Coach Jenn Castle and assistant Brianna Finck for doing a fantastic job of working with the girls softball pitchers each day of camp. Team Dads Jeff Treadway, Jonathan Farley, Floyd Harris and his fellow paramedic Corey Jones, Team Moms Mrs. Amanda Berentz, Mrs.Tami Romanko, Mike Hopkins, Jeff Hopkins, Tim Everson, Dalton Everson, and Raphael Vargas, all did a wonderful job of helping with the children and getting them from station to station safely.

Volunteer lunch ladies Theresa Wagner, Tanya Wagner, Cathy Miller, Vivian King, Katee Stalnaker, Sherri Ramsey, Stephenie Stewart, Laura Wagner and many other volunteer moms and grandmothers all worked tirelessly feeding the campers snack and lunch each day and cleaning up. A huge “thank you” goes out to Eddie Atkinson, Steve Black, and the Vienna city work force for their generosity and hard work, and Jackson Middle School custodians Jennifer and Sean were absolutely a godsend with all of their help at the school. Blue ribbon sponsors who made a huge difference in the lives of area children, and the outcome of the event included V96.9 Radio, Marietta Fairfield Inn, Zides Sport Shop, Del Hagley, Dorthy Fordyce, Warren’s IGA, Charles and Linda Miller, Mike Hopkins, Jeff Hopkins, Tami Romanko, Jeannie Offenberger, Bob and Tracy Jones, Carrie Martin, Mike Sydenstricker, Jill Barber, Area Burger King stores, Vienna McDonalds, area Piggly Wiggly stores, Marietta Giant Eagle, Marietta Captain D’s, Marietta Long John Silvers, Vienna Dairy Queen, Ms. Pam Bradley, Cindy Lynch, Parkersburg Olive Garden, Marietta Shoney’s, and Logans Roadhouse all made generous donations to the event.

A very special “thank you” to Jonathan Farley and Principal Summers of Jackson Middle School for allowing us to use the School’s gymnasium for each morning setup, and providing a safe haven for the children and families against the threat of severe and inclement weather. Also a very special “thank you” goes out to Jack Horton DJ Productions, Eric Little, and V96.9 Radio, who donated their time and talents to bringing Monday’s awesome post-camp Bronson Arroyo rock concert to the Jackson Middle School gymnasium. Bronson was in rare form as he performed his trademark song “Slide” and many other notable hits from the past. The Bronson Arroyo camp and concert was a dream come true for many, and a thrill to say the least for all those in attendance. It was surely an encore of delight for all of those who were involved, and had the amazing opportunity to be there.

As the 26th anniversary Cincinnati Reds Legends event has come and gone much too quickly, it is time to give thanks to God for all He had done for this camp, and to all those good people who have supported this event from its very beginning back in 1993. Thanks to all involved; volunteers, coaches, Cincinnati Reds Heroes, parents, grandparents, prayer warriors, sponsors, and administrators. See you next year.

Mike Wagner

Marietta