D-Backs Bring Youth Training To Rim Country

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The Diamondbacks are coming to Payson for the fourth consecutive summer.

The D-Backs are bringing their training centers to the Rim country. These programs have taught the fundamentals of baseball to more than 10,000 kids since they were formed in 2000.

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The Arizona Diamondback Training Centers have played a big part in the Rim country's summer sports calender since 2000. Each year, youngsters from around the state travel to Payson to hone their playing skills at the baseball camps.

The Payson training center sessions will be held July 5 to July 9 on the Longhorn baseball field.

The daily camp for youths, 7 to 12, is slated for 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The intermediate sessions for players 11 to 13, will be held 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

A Diamondback softball fastpitch camp for players 7 to 16 is on tap for 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on the Lady Horn field. The softball camp will also be conducted July 5 to 9.

For athletes who can not participate in the Payson sessions, a training center will be conducted July 12 to 16 in Globe.

According to Diamondback Training Center officials, the camp curriculum is endorsed by the professional baseball team's staff and is matched to the age and skill level of the student.

Instructors are handpicked by the organization to teach the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, throwing, base running and specific position play.

In past years, instructors in Payson have included some former minor league players, high school coaches and a few who have played in the major leagues.

Each camp has an instructor-to-student ratio of 1:10, so camp sizes are limited.

In past years, the Payson camps have drawn players from the Valley area who were eager, along with their parents, to escape the desert heat.

Registration fee for both the regular and softball training centers is $150. For the intermediate camp, the fee is $160. All registrations include an official Diamondback Training Center T-shirt, cap, sports bag and two tickets to a 2004 Diamondback regular season home game. A portion of the proceeds from the camps benefit Arizona Diamondback charities. For more information on camp sites and times, call 1-800-821-7152.

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