New Britain City Journal

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The Sports Journal

Rollie Fingers to Lead City Youth Baseball Clinic

In 1992, The Greatest Save, a division of the KinderVision Foundation, partnered with Major League Baseball and its franchises to become an official charity of MLB. The Greatest Save, which is also a recognized charity of the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, is a crime prevention program that teaches internet and personal safety through a community based multimedia approach.

The organization was born out of a tragedy in San Diego with the kidnapping and murder of a seven-year-old girl named Leticia Hernandez in 1991. According to Nancy Sebastian, Executive Director of TGS, their ultimate mission is to shut out predators by empowering children and teens to instinctively recognize risk from sexual predators and avoid exploitation.

“Our goal is to reduce dramatically until we one day eliminate completely these kinds of crimes against children and teens by teaching them to instinctively recognize the circumstances and behaviors that put them at risk and respond appropriately to reduce that risk,” she said.

This weekend, various former Major League Baseball players will be here in New Britain at New Britain Stadium for a youth baseball clinic as part of a fun-filled weekend. Rollie Fingers, a member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, will be leading the clinic.

Fingers, who played 18 years in the big leagues for the Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres and Milwaukee Brewers, was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. At that time, he became only the second reliever to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He is one of only a few MLB players to have his number retired by more than one club.

“As a member of The Greatest Save team, I help kids and teens help avoid risky situations of their own. Join our team this weekend and help prevent exploitation and abduction. When it comes to kids, the greatest save is the one we never have to make,” Fingers said.

He will be joined by Darrell Evans, who played for the Atlanta Braves, San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers as a first and third baseman. Throughout his career, Evans hit over 400 career home runs but has never been seriously considered for the Hall of Fame, despite being called the most underrated player in baseball history. In addition to Evans, Jon Warden will be coaching at the clinic. Warden was a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals. He had a 3.62 ERA throughout his brief career in the big leagues.

The clinic, which will be held on Saturday, August 9 from 1-4 p.m., is free of charge to youth who are between the ages of 6 and 15. In addition, all who take part in the clinic will be able to get one item autographed by the former MLB players.

“Children will be divided by age into groups and rotate among the stations where the former MLB ballplayers instruct them in hitting, catching, running bases, throwing and other fundamentals of the game,” Sebastian said. “One of the stations will be our safety activity where each participant will be video recorded doing a brief interview onto the end of an age appropriate personal safety video that they will take home at no cost.”

In addition to the clinic on Saturday, the organization will hold their Stars for Kids Gala on Sunday evening at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington with Rollie Fingers, Gaylord Perry and more than 20 other former MLB players with a wide array of auction items. On Monday, they will hold their Celebrity Experience Golf Tournament at TPC River Highlands and each foursome will have a former player in it.

“It’s a truly memorable weekend for those who love baseball and helping kids,” Sebastian said.

For more information and to register for any of the events, you can visit their website at The Greatest Save | Prevention focused personal safety program for kids and teens. or by calling John Frank at 860-676-7733.