The Baltimore Orioles hosted their annual youth softball and baseball clinic June 29, teaming up with the Coppin State University women’s softball team to teach kids the ins and outs of baseball.
The summer baseball clinic was held at Radecke Park in northeast Baltimore and was in full swing with kids and parents from the Gardenville community wanting to learn more about the sport.
“I grew up in the city of San Diego, and I told myself if I ever made it I would give back,” said Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.
Jones has been actively involved with the baseball program for the past five years, and this year he brought a few friends along. Shortstop J.J. Hardy and Third Baseman Manny Machado were in attendance to help teach the children the game.
Jones, who stood at first base, practiced throwing baseballs to children as he explained the basics of the sport.
As children gathered around Jones, he signed autographs, took pictures spent time with kids who were excited to see one of their favorite baseball players.
“My name is Adam too, and I know your birthday, you’re a good player,” one child said as Jones signed his baseball.
The baseball program is open to all children ages 4 through 18 who reside in the Cedonia Gardenville community. Over 300 children participated in this year’s baseball clinic.
“This baseball program keeps children involved and out of trouble,” coach William Brown told the AFRO. “We started with 40 kids and have grown. This is more than baseball, it’s about using a sport to build teamwork and integrity.”
Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, who lives in the community said the program “allows kids [to] have more respect with themselves and in the community they live in.”
“It means a lot to the community,” Scott said.
The children who participated in this weekend’s baseball clinic received tickets for a future Orioles game, donated by the team.
“It’s about giving back, especially to the inner city. I am trying to be a positive role model to these kids,” Jones said.