CHARLESTON -- Though summer baseball leagues are still awhile away, it's never to early to get a head start on learning the basics.
That's why Charleston high school baseball coach Michael Minner will be hosting a Fundamental Baseball Camp Saturday, March 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for kindergarten through seventh graders at Hillhouse Park in Charleston.
"We have great people that know the game and that teach the game the proper way," Minner said. "It's a good opportunity for kids to come out and get a head start on the summer and learn something."
Among those instructing will be members of the Charleston Bluejays baseball team, Bluejays assistant coach Ryan Ford and former University of Missouri-Rolla catcher Greg Craft.
Also instructing, among several others, will be Ross Bennett, a former All-American at Baylor.
"Best hitter I ever played with," Minner said of his former high school teammate. "He's going to come down and do some stuff on hitting. He's the only hitter in Big 12 history to hit over .350 for three consecutive years.
"He's real knowledgeable and we're really excited to have him come down."
All the basics of the game will be covered in the camp including, throwing mechanics, hitting, bunting, fielding, base running and others. Cost for the camp will be $25 which also includes lunch and a T-shirt. Proceeds for the event will benefit the Charleston high school baseball program.
Minner said the purpose of having a camp earlier in the year was to get in ahead of the summer programs and hopefully get more kids in the community involved with the sport.
"We want to try to get some kids excited before summer signups," he said. "We want kids to get out and just realize what there is to do in the summer. Camps often happen after kids have already signed up (for summer teams) so you miss out on a lot of kids."
He added that learning the fundamentals at an early age is crucial to future success.
"That's evident in our program this year," Minner said. "We've had three kids (in our high school program) that signed college scholarships and that doesn't happen overnight.
"That's because kids have put in the time and the extra miles to get out of it what they wanted out of it."
Kids all throughout the area are encouraged to attend and, though, signups will be taken until the day of the even, registering by March 2 is encouraged.
"Anybody who wants to come and get three hours of great instruction, we invite everybody," said Minner.