REDLANDS – Fifty or so children learned more about baseball and a group of high school players gave back on Tuesday, Jan. 4, at the Wildcat Baseball Camp.
Redlands East Valley coach Daren Espinoza and his assistant coaches and players guided the kids. The campers -- boys and girls – ranged from kindergarten age to eighth grade.
The camp was free.
“The whole world is just pay, pay, pay,” Espinoza said. “How much does it cost? C’mon, open your heart.”
The campers also received lunch.
“So far, so good,” said Emily Vasquez of Redlands as she watched her grandson Ezra play. “The boys work well with the kids, and everything is timed, so it’s moving along fairly well.”
Kevin Ochsner, wearing a Los Angeles Dodgers’ cap, brought his grandson Asaph down from Angelus Crest for the event.
“It’s good for them,” Ochsner said. “The 10 minutes [of drilling] is a little long for the kids because you can see some of them kind of digging in the dirt. But overall, it’s good. I brought my own son down here when [Steve] Hernandez was the coach.”
Steve Hernandez was REV’s first baseball coach. He also coached at Fontana High.
The REV players seemed to benefit too.
“I like it,” REV infielder Emmanuel Palos said. “It’s fun and I like being able to give back.”
Espinoza gave future Wildcats a taste of what they might be in for if they play at REV.
Said the veteran coach near the end of the clinic, “When we’re done, we need to clean up. There’s no magic dust that does that for us and we need to put the buckets and the bases and the signs back. I’ll drag the field and then lunch will be coming.”