Diamondbacks Return Kids Camps To Rim

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Diamond Training Centers have been a highlight of the Rim country summer sports season since the professional club first began hosting the camps three years ago.

This summer, the Diamondbacks have added a new twist to the highly popular camps: fast pitch softball training for girls 7 to 16-years-of age.

All three Diamondback camps -- two for baseball and one softball -- will be conducted July 7 to 11 at Payson High School.

The baseball camp for fledgling players 7 to 12 years old will be held on Longhorn field each day from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Also from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the fast pitch softball training center will be conducted on Lady Longhorn field.

From 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Horn field, an intermediate training center designed for players 11 to 14-years who have previously participated in a training center will be held.

According to training center spokesman Jeff Rodin, the afternoon baseball session is designed for the more advanced player who "is ready for the next level."

The curriculums of all three camps are approved by the Diamondbacks baseball staff and matched to the age and skill level of the students, Rodin said.

The instructors, many of whom have college or minor league playing experience, are selected by the organization to teach the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, throwing, base running and specific position play.

Camp instructors have traditionally added a sprinkling of spirited games and contests to lend a little levity to the training.

Camp sizes are limited and coaches-to-student ratios are monitored, Rodin said.

In past years, the Payson camps have filled up quickly drawing both local youngsters and prospective players from the Valley area who are eager to escape the searing heat.

Diamondback officials estimate more than 8,000 youngsters have participated statewide since the inception of the camps in 2000.

Registration for the regular baseball and fast pitch softball camps is $150. The fee for the intermediate training center is $160. All campers receive a Diamondbacks Training Center T-shirt, cap, backpack and two tickets to a Diamondbacks home game. A portion of the proceeds from the training centers benefit the Arizona Diamondbacks Charities Youth Baseball/Softball Fund.

For more information or to register for the training center, call 1-800-821-7152.

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