Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Eight former big leaguers – and about 60 aspiring ones – gathered at The Ripken Experience complex on Saturday for the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Assocation’s Legends for Youth Clinic.

In addition to learning the finer points of pitching, hitting and fielding from veterans who played the game at the highest level, the Little Leaguers also received some powerful big-league life lessons.

“How many of you want to play in the majors?” nine-year MLB veteran Herm Winningham asked the group as hands raised in unison. “That’s great, and I hope you make it, but there are only 750 jobs. You need a contingency plan.”

Words of wisdom off the diamond and pro tips on it were all part of the free clinic for ages 6-16. With many of the vets well past their primes, baseball served to bridge the generational divide.

“I remember being their age and how much fun it was,” said former Philadelphia Phillies catcher and current Myrtle Beach Pelicans manager Steve Lerud. “Now it’s a job for me. I’m working with guys who are trying to make it to the majors and sometimes the fun gets taken out of it for the results on the field, so it’s refreshing to be around these kids and be reminded of why we got into baseball.”

The MLB veterans, including Alan Fowlkes (Giants, Angels), Rich Gale, (Giants, Royals, Reds, Red Sox), Billy Harris (Indians, Royals), Brian Lawrence (Padres, Mets), Larry Luebbers (Reds, Cardinals) and Kurt Seibert (Cubs), made sure to stress the “fun” in the fundamentals. They not only demonstrated basic baseball skills, but also imparted some sound life advice to some enthusiastic admirers.

“I love them because they taught me a lot,” said 7-year-old Rutger Moore of Murrells Inlet. “They told us to play hard like we did today, stay in school and don’t do drugs. I learned that instead of waiting for the ball to come to you, you have to attack it.”

Groundballs are a lot like life (it’s all in how you handle it), and that point was hammered home by Winningham. The Orangeburg native toiled away in the majors for four different teams from 1984 to ’92, and he seized his golden opportunity when it presented itself in the 1990 World Series.

The reserve outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds stepped in for the injured Brian Hatcher, batting .386 (5-for-13) in the postseason. Winningham went 2-for-3 and scored the game-winning and World Series-clinching run in Game 4 to earn his championship ring in a sweep of the heavily favored Oakland Athletics.

“That was my time, but a lot of hard work and sacrifice went into it,” Winningham recalled. “You might not get your opportunity as fast as you want it, but you have to work hard to be ready when your time comes. Hard work pays off. I don’t care if it’s baseball or whatever you do, you have to put in the time. I’m so glad I get the opportunity to pass that on to the next generation.”

The MLBPAA puts on 185 free clinics worldwide every year, reaching 19,000 children and countless more through the coaches clinics.

“The coaches clinics are great because we teach things like how old a kid should be before throwing a curveball and things to educate (youth coaches),” said MLBPAA special events coordinator Chloe Hoeft. “If we can reach one coach, we reach 20 kids.”

Who knows? One of those kids could turn out to be the next big thing in the big leagues.

“All these kids have the same aspirations of playing Major League Baseball,” Winningham said. “Not all of them are going to make it, but every once in a while you will see one of these kids make it in the big leagues that come from this program. That’s rewarding in itself.”

Photos by Terry Massey

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sand

Beach volleyball growing on Grand Strand sandWhat was once a leisurely pick-up game on the beach [more]

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haul

NMB boys hoops hopeful Walker in it for long haulNorth Myrtle Beach believes Ryan Walker is the person to [more]

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut

Injury halts former Chant La Stella's All-Star debut Former Coastal Carolina standout and Los Angeles Angels second baseman [more]

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures Game

Pelicans well represented at All-Star Futures GameMyrtle Beach Pelicans’ catcher Miguel Amaya has been selected to [more]

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth Clinic

Baseball bonds all ages at Legends for Youth ClinicEight former big leaguers - and about 60 aspiring ones [more]

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior Olympics

Jordans lead MBTFC to wins at Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program

Hunter brings new energy to MB volleyball program New Myrtle Beach High volleyball coach Alyssa Hunter knows she [more]

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 years

Soccer Locker ready for final horn after 25 yearsA child steps up to the counter to purchase his [more]

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meet

MB Track and Field Club flies high at Florence meetThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club combined boys and [more]

Rivers named honorable mention All-American

Rivers named honorable mention All-AmericanCoastal Carolina senior outfielder Kieton Rivers was recognized as a [more]

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-Stars

Trio of Pelicans pitchers are midseason All-StarsMyrtle Beach right-handed pitchers Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo and Paul [more]

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleball

Grand Strand rec athletes find passion for pickleballNearly 100 local recreational athletes put themselves in a real [more]

CCU football loses legend with retirement of Glenn

CCU football loses legend with retirement of GlennCoastal Carolina football chief of staff and director of football [more]

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to Jackets

Chants' season ends with stinging defeat to JacketsCoastal Carolina baseball had its season come to an end [more]

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in Regional

Coastal wrangles Rattlers to stay alive in RegionalThe Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead and did not [more]

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club Challenge

MB Track & Field Club shines at Club ChallengeThe Myrtle Beach Track and Field Club welcomed 22 clubs [more]

Chants battered by Tigers, drop into losers bracket

Chants battered by Tigers,  drop into losers bracketCoastal Carolina baseball saw a 2-2 tie disappear in the [more]

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine years

Chiefs seeking sixth boys hoops coach in nine yearsNorth Myrtle Beach is looking for a new boys basketball [more]

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings

Grand Strand dominates state golf course rankings Golfweek has unveiled its annual list of the “Best Courses [more]

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to five

Hemingway narrows his college wish list to fiveTonka Hemingway has played enough games with opposing offensive linemen. He’s [more]

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first round

Chants headed to Atlanta, face Auburn in first roundCoastal Carolina baseball received the No. 3 seed in the [more]

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championship

Chants dig deep, defend Sun Belt championshipCoastal Carolina outscored the Georgia Southern Eagles 9-1 over the [more]

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title game

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings [more]

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFL

Renfrow comes full circle before making run at NFLThe past six months have been hectic ones for Hunter [more]

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior Olympics

Six MBTFC athletes make National Junior OlympicsThe Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club was represented by [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach