Carew, Angels host clinic for RBI youth
Hall of Famer shares tips; Jackie Robinson's daughter welcomes kids to park
ANAHEIM -- The outfield at Angel Stadium was teeming with activity on Saturday morning as 250 youth from local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) programs joined Hall of Famer Rod Carew for a baseball and softball clinic.
Carew, along with Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck, bullpen coach Steve Soliz and players from local colleges instructed participants on hitting, pitching, catching, running the bases, stretching and playing the infield and outfield.
The RBI program is designed to give youth from underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork.
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Before the kids took the field, Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson, welcomed them to the park.
"I love to come out to these clinics, because it helps me see how they are teaching kids baseball. And they're on a Major League field; you can't get any better than that," said Robinson, an educational consultant to Major League Baseball. "Today is about having a good time with baseball."
Carew, whose No. 29 was retired by the Angels in 1986, took a hands-on approach to hitting instruction. The former first baseman with a career .328 average watched each participant swing, sharing knowledge gained during 19 years in the big leagues. With a bat in hand, Carew showed the youngsters how to take the proper batting stance, where to position their hands on the bat and how to swing through the strike zone.
There were pitching contests inside the Angels' bullpen. Center field was transformed into an endless cycle of fly balls and relay throws.
It will be a similar scene on Sunday at Dodger Stadium, with another RBI clinic scheduled for 250 kids from Los Angeles-area RBI programs. And it all leads up to Jackie Robinson Day on Monday.
"We thought it was really important to make sure that we did clinics out here in the Southern California area to reintroduce these young men and women to Jackie's legacy," said RBI director David James.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.