After spending the day with the Red Deer Braves AAA midget team last year, young baseball players lined up to get their autographs.
The annual Day with the Braves is a chance for young baseball players, aged seven to 15, to spend a day honing their skills with some of Red Deer’s best baseball players.
“Our oldest and most skilled players train all the younger players,” said Dena Arnold, Day with the Braves manager.
“They lined up with a couple of the players, who are maybe a little more outgoing.”
This year, the 16th annual event, will be held on June 9. Throughout the day the younger players are trained on different baseball skills such as hitting, fielding, catching, pitching and throwing.
It takes place at Great Chief Park on June 9. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the clinic runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last year they had 60 young baseball players, and so far this year 40 players have registered.
Midget manager Randy Gehring organizes his team to help train the young players. He said the goal is to show younger players what they can aspire to.
“The ultimate goal is to expose the younger kids to our flagship team,” said Gehring.
“Hopefully it wants them to keep playing the game and want to be those guys towards the end of their minor baseball journey.”
Because the program has been running so long, youth who once attended as young players get the chance to come back and teach younger kids.
“When you get the older kids out with the younger kids, it’s kind of a tossup as to who it’s actually better for,” said Gehring.
“The older kids get a real kick out of hanging out with the younger kids. It takes them back to where they used to be and being able to see the game through the eyes of a six or seven year old.”
Gerhing said that after the Day with the Braves, he can see an improvement from both the young players and their teachers.
“The coach can tell the kids what to do, but ultimately kids like to learn from their peers,” said Gerhing. “When they see those AAA midget kids saying ‘this is what you should do, this is how you can improve’ it helps.”
For more information or to register call Arnold at 403-597-5450 or email firstname.lastname@example.org