Legends Wrapup: Youth baseball clinic enjoys another big year
With day three of the 20th annual Reds Legends Youth Baseball Clinic in the books, baseball players from around the area have taken in an experience they will most likely never forget.
“It’s been pretty sweet seeing all these legends out here in Marietta,” said Cale Hill, who will enter the seventh grade at Marietta Middle School this fall.
Hill, an infielder, especially enjoyed getting to work with former Reds two-bagger Bret Boone. Boone shared one story in particular that Hill found interesting. To improve in fielding, Boone said he would often practice getting into a fielding position while doing mundane tasks at his house.
“He said he goes around his house in an athletic position getting ketchup and hamburgers and stuff,” Hill explained.
For Hill and his brother Turner, 14, attending the Reds Legends camp at VFW Field has become a tradition. The two have participated at the clinic since they were around five-years-old.
As die-hard Cincinnati Reds fans, the camp is something they both cherish.
Turner said working with former Reds star outfielder Eric Davis on Thursday was his biggest thrill of the summer.
“I learned a lot from the hitting that Eric Davis was teaching me,” he said, “and hitting off of the tees.”
Turner will begin his freshman year at Marietta High School this fall and will look to make an impact on the Tiger baseball team. He believes he will greatly benefit from what he has learned the past three days from the former Reds greats and other camp volunteers.
Along with Boone and Davis, former Reds Don Gullett and Leo Cardenas were also on hand to share their wisdom. Gullett worked exclusively with pitchers, while Cardenas focused on hitting and fielding.
For camp director Mike Wagner and his staff, the 20th anniversary year will definitely go down as a success.
“Outstanding,” Wagner said.
“It’s everything I hoped it would be. The weather has been great. I’m just real happy with the feedback I’ve gotten. Everybody’s had a good time and everybody seemed to learn a lot. Bret Boone and Eric Davis as the special guests this year, everybody was real impressed with them as well as myself. They did an awesome job.
“Coming into it, all the expectations that I wanted to have, we’ve met all those and far exceeded the expectations for the camp. I’m real pleased.”
Along with Wagner and his family, some of the volunteers that helped make the camp a success included Steve Hill, Ron Casey, Luke and Tim Moore, Jim Wilhelm, Joe Matheney, Kevin Pierson, Mike and Jeff Hopkins, Curtis Whitlak and Jim Rogers, among others.
“I’d just like to thank God,” Wagner said. “I’m a praying man and I want to thank God for what He’s done for this camp. I pray all the time and take faith that He’s gonna help me, and that’s a big part of this. How do we get through 20 years, the way we have, without some help from God?”