The heat beat down on Delair Park for the third and final day of the Blue Jays Super Camp in Abbotsford last week Thursday, but that didn’t prevent a host of young ballplayers from taking the field to learn from former Toronto Blue Jays.
In attendance was 12-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar who, along with Homer Bush, Devon White, Tanyon Sturtze and Brian McRae, provided a memorable baseball experience.
The youth players who attended were treated to small sessions with each Blue Jays great in specific areas of focus, or, in the case of Alomar, a mini-baseball game where he pitched and offered playful comments and encouragement.
“This is great for the game and for the kids,” Alomar told The News. “It made me remember playing baseball as a kid.”
Alomar had spent a couple of days at the Okotoks, Alta. camp, which ran concurrently to Abbotsford’s, before traveling further west.
“It was definitely cooler there,” he said with a laugh, as he wiped sweat from his brow.
Bush, who was present all three days of the camp last week, said the kids settled in quickly after the opening day.
“The first day was the sniff test,” he said, jokingly.
The kids were a little shy at first but after some time, they loosened up, Bush said.
“It’s really been good the last two days. The thing that’s important is that they are listening and apply what you’re saying,” said Bush, who was pleased with everyone’s participation at his station at second base.
White, who operated the batting drill, was also impressed by the level of play.
“In B.C. so far we’ve seen some good young players. You can tell they’re coached well,” said White, adding, “focus and concentration is there, which shows you they’re students of the game.”
Parent Christie Fehlauer, whose son Brady, 12, was participating in the Jays Super Camp for the first time, said it’s been great.
“The [players] are talking, chatting it up with them which adds to the experience,” said Christie.
Brady said Alomar was his favourite at camp, as did a number of other players. Many said they hope to return next year.