Former MLB All-Stars B.J. Ryan and Scott Garrelts will headline a group of past pro and college standouts conducting a free baseball clinic Saturday in Blanchard for registered Blanchard Dixie Baseball members.
The program is being facilitated through Extra Innings, a baseball and softball training facility in Shreveport, and is being coordinated by Joey Ford, a former Airline and Louisiana Tech baseball player.
“We’re trying to give kids the opportunity to learn more about the game we love,” said former Southwood standout Trey Poland, who played collegiately at Panola, Centenary and Louisiana Lafayette, followed by a professional career. “We hope to do more of these for other leagues in the future. This definitely isn’t a one-time thing.”
Poland, former Padres minor leaguer Bill Ostermeyer, former Loyola All-Stater Morgan Brian, LSUS standout Paul Barton, former Shreveport Captain Ron Fenwick and former Centenary softball player Emily Sexton will also be assisting in the clinic, according to Poland.
Registration for the program, slated for ages 7 and up, will open at 9 a.m. and it will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Garrelts, an Illinois native, played for the San Francisco Giants from 1982 until 1991 and went 14-5 with a 2.28 ERA in 1989 while leading the Giants to the World Series. He was an MLB All-Star in 1985.
Ryan was a standout reliever for Baltimore recording saves in 36 of 41 opportunities during the 2005 season. He signed a $45 million contract with Toronto in 2005, then the highest ever MLB contract by a reliever.
Poland and Ryan played together at Centenary, then transferred to UL Lafayette before turning pro. Ostermeyer, who played at Centenary from 1989-90, coached Ryan and Poland as Gents in 1995-97.
“We have a couple of guys who have been at the top of the mountain,” Poland said. “We plan to spend some of our time talking to coaches and parents and educating them about the game.”
A focus on potential injuries in the game will also be part of the agenda.
“It seems like more and more injuries are occurring, so we want to address safety and what parents and coaches can look for,” Poland said. “We hope to let them know about some options they can consider.”