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Cleveland Indians scout looking forward to Deer Park’s Holiday Baseball Camp


We’re just days away from it becoming officially winter. Some bitterly cold days, by Houston-area standards at least, await. The trees have long lost their green leaves and it gets completely dark by 6 pm.

In other words, another youth baseball season seems so far away right now.

But for the two-day period of Dec. 27-28, the wonderful game of baseball will be making a triumphant return, reminding us that the grand game is waiting for its 2019 debut.

At revitalized Spencerview Park (4414 Durant St.) for those 48 hours, gloves, cleats and ballcaps will push away the bleakness of winter courtesy of the Holiday Baseball Camp.

The camp is celebrating its 25th year of traveling the state, bringing with it some of the sharpest baseball minds around.

Designed for children ages 6-13, Deer Park High School head baseball coach Chris Rupp along with major league baseball scouts Chris Smith from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization and Kyle Van Hook from the Cleveland Indians, the trio will devote their time to helping kids become stronger players.

Wanting a 12-to-1 camper-to-coach ratio, other staff members will feature a host of high school coaches, college coaches and pro scouts.

“We have three goals at the camp. One is to teach the kids the fundamentals of hitting, throwing and defensive positions. Secondly, we want to identify each player’s faults and third to help each youngster make adjustments,” Van Hook said in an email.

There’s actually four camp goals. The fourth one is for the campers to have fun. Through a variety of activities, the kids will have opportunities to win baseball cards.

“It’s a fun learning environment with each player receiving individual instruction. For example, each camper is filmed hitting and gets to watch his swing with an instructor. It’s a chance for players to refresh their skills before the season,” said Van Hook, who was also Blinn Junior College’s head coach.

The camp is broken down into three sessions and each session is $50. If a camper wishes to attend all three sessions, there is a $25 discount for a total cost of $125. Insurance will be provided.

Session I will be held from 9 a.m. to noon and Session II will go from 1-4 p.m. on the 27th. On the 28th, Session III will cater to pitching, catching and defense from 9 a.m. to noon.

For Session III, a youngster chooses a specific position such as catcher, infielder, outfielder and pitching.

Van Hook reminds all campers to furnish their own bats, gloves and shoes, the equipment they probably received as Christmas gifts. In the event of inclement weather, tennis shoes should also be included for indoor workouts.

To obtain a registration form, call Van Hook at 979-830-3573 after 6 p.m. and he can email interested families a sign-up form. The mailing address to send a $15 deposit or full payment is: Holiday Baseball Camp, 1000 Green Street, Brenham, Texas 77833.

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