02/27/12 2:27 PM EST
Alomar spreads love of baseball to Puerto Rico
By Rob Jack / Special to Bluejays.com
Alomar is one of the guest instructors at the Blue Jays' Honda Super Camps, which will visit 14 Canadian cities in 2012 and teach baseball to more than 2,000 kids across the country. Alomar plans on visiting some of these cities to lend a hand.
During the offseason, Alomar approached the Blue Jays about a new idea -- he suggested that the club host baseball camps in his home country of Puerto Rico.
With Alomar's help, the Blue Jays agreed to assist.
"The kids down here don't get opportunities like this," said Alomar. "Learning baseball from all these former Major League players is a great experience for them. I am just happy I can give back like this and I am grateful to the Blue Jays and all the Puerto Rican instructors for supporting this."
Over the past weekend, the Blue Jays held baseball camps in three cities across Puerto Rico -- Yabucoa, Guayama and Alomar's hometown of Salinas. Sandy Alomar Sr., Dickie Thon, Jerry Morales, Otto Valez, Candy Maldonado, Juan Benigues, Mario Diaz and Duane Ward acted as the camp instructors. Each child received a T-shirt courtesy of Alomar and was not charged an admission fee.
"When Robbie first approached the Blue Jays about this idea, I thought it was great," said Ward. "We are in a situation where we have camps running in every province in Canada, so why not let the kids in Puerto Rico benefit from the Super Camps program also? I told Robbie, 'I am all in.'"
Over the course of the weekend, 400 participants learned baseball fundamentals such as hitting, infield, outfield, pitching, bunting and baserunning. Each camp was four hours.
"There are some really good players down here," said Alomar. "It is always fun when you can help in their development."
"These camps were really important to Robbie. He spent a lot of time planning the camp, making sure we had enough instructors and equipment. Robbie has been so helpful to us with the Super Camps, so it was nice to be able to return the favor," said amateur baseball coordinator T.J. Burton.
Rob Jack is manager of social marketing for the Blue Jays. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.