Columbia Kids Get Baseball Lesson From Major Leaguers

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COLUMBIA - Every young baseball player dreams of getting taught by the best. One group of kids in Columbia had that chance as they received some advice from a few pros.

Any major leaguer will tell you they've slid into a slump a time or two, but it can happen to anyone.

"I've had some trouble with hitting. Towards the middle of the season I generally had a big slump so I'm trying to figure out a way this season to kind of keep myself from not slumping," Derrick Evers said.

And what better way to get out of that slump than learn from a few local big leaguers themselves.

"Any time you get a chance to meet a kid that wants to go after this dream of playing baseball for a living, I jump on it, and I'm all for it," major league third baseman Joe Crede said. "I want to see them succeed and do well."

"Blake taught me a new way to hold my hands on the bat. I've been holding it a different way than what he's taught me or what I've used before, and he helped me in a new way that I think will help a lot," Colby Fitch, another Balls-n-Strikes lessons attendee, said.

Meanwhile, there were lessons taught to use on the field, and ones to take off.

"I kind of realized they all had a similar story. One day they just decided they really wanted to do this, and they set their mind to it and did it, and I thought that was pretty cool," Connor Brumfield said.

"The main thing I was telling them was that baseball is a game, and it's fun, and always try to keep it fun," San Diego Padres outfielder, Blake Tekotte said.

But the lessons weren't the only donation.

For every kid that came in here with a ball looking for an autograph, five dollars were hit donate to Joplin for relief. Total, Balls and Strikes estimates that they made close to five hundred dollars.

Former big league outfielder, Brian McRae hopes that the kids will take what they've learned and give back to their children when the time comes.

"They don't have to be big league ball players to be able to love the game and be able to learn it and teach it. And that's what you need, you just need people out there that want to teach it," McRae said.

And after the lessons, hopefully Derrick can break his slump.

Balls n Strikes owner Bobby Chick hopes to bring in a few big leaguers each year for the lessons.

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