After a three-year absence, the hugely successful Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association (MLBPAA) Legends for Youth Tour is back on the baseball diamonds of Italy this summer. Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball (FIBS) in association with MLBPAA are proud to offer free baseball clinics for children aged 7-16 in five Italian cities from June 10-19, 2019. MLBPAA’s Legends for Youth clinics impact more than 16,000 children each year, allowing them the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from players who have left a lasting impact on the game of baseball. The MLBPAA has reached children across America and internationally in Australia, Canada, China, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, the United Kingdom and Venezuela, through the Legends for Youth Clinic Series.
The Legends for Youth Tour provides a fun, positive baseball experience where young ballplayers are taught the game's fundamentals in a multi-station format. At the life skills station, for example, participants will meet positive role models who will talk about substance abuse, stress the importance of education and help the young athletes recognize they have the ability to make good choices. Not only do the baseball clinics afford the children the opportunity to take the field and work with MLB Legends, but also they provide the ballplayers with a positive mindset and outlook on life. The exciting day will conclude with a Q & A opportunity, an autograph session, and baseball giveaways for all participants.
Three former MLB players will accompany the MLBAA staff on the Legends for Youth Tour in Italy. Returning for an encore appearance after his 2016 debut is Desmond "Desi" Relaford, a familiar face after coordinating several USSSA camps in Italy and managing Team Europe to four wins in the 2016 Asia Winter League. During his 11-year major league career, the Georgia-born Desi Relaford played every position in baseball except first base and catcher. He made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1996 and played for the San Diego Padres, the New York Mets, the Seattle Mariners, the Kansas City Royals, the Colorado Rockies and the Texas Rangers during the course of his professional career.
John Doherty, a big right-handed pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox from 1992 to 1996, will lead the Legends for Youth Tour pitching station. After compiling a respectable MLB 32-31 won lost record with a 4.87 ERA, his baseball pitching career was cut short due to a knee injury. As a youth growing up in the Bronx within walking distance of Yankee Stadium, John Doherty dreamed of playing professionally. He has since served on the MLBPAA board of directors as well as given back to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Miracle League Baseball, a league for children and adults with severe disabilities.
Jeff "Mr. Marlin" Conine, a two-time World Series champion with the Florida Marlins in 1997 and 2003, is the third and final star of the Legends for Youth Italian Tour. Nominated twice as an MLB All-Star, Jeff Conine played 17 seasons primarily as an outfielder with six different organizations (the Florida Marlins, the Baltimore Orioles, the Kansas City Royals, the New York Mets, the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies) during his professional career. He was a fan favorite wherever he played with a career .285 batting average and 214 home runs.
The Legends for Youth Italian Tour includes the following dates, times, and locations: June 10, 2019 from 1-4 pm at at Centro Sportivo San Giacomo in Nettuno (RM); June 12, 2019 from 1-4 pm at Stadio Comunale Baseball in Macerata; June 14, 2019 from 1-4 pm at Campo Mediterraneo in Taranto; June 17, 2019 from 1-4 pm at Stadio Comunale Baseball in Salerno; and June 19, 2019 from 1-4 pm at Stadio San Clemente in Caserta. Participants must download the registration form from the link below and send the completed document with a medical clearance certificate via email to firstname.lastname@example.org before June 4, 2019. There is a limit of 100 baseball players aged 7-16 per clinic. Admitted applicants will receive confirmation only through the email address listed on the registration form. Forza #Italia! #LFYClinic #LetsMakeItHappen
by Roberto Angotti