Record-Breaking Turnout For Dbacks Camp

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Nearly 40 aspiring baseball and softball players turned out for the Sixth Annual Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center held July 11-15 at Rumsey Park.

To accommodate the record-breaking turnout, Diamondback officials sent five coaches, the most ever assigned to the Payson camp.

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About 40 youngsters from around the Rim country participated in the Sixth Annual Arizona Diamondbacks Training Center held July 11-15 at Rumsey Park. On this drill, the aspiring softball player was timed on a run from second base to home plate.

Diamondback officials attribute the large turnout of campers to the price break offered to parents a week before the camp was slated to begin.

As part of an "All-Star Break Special" promotion, the normal registration fee of $160 was reduced to $125. The fee included a Diamondbacks hat, T-shirt, wrist bands and two tickets to a 2005 Diamondbacks home game at Bank One Ballpark.

From 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the coaches put the 6- to 12-year-old campers through their paces, teaching them the fundamentals of hitting, fielding, throwing, base running and position play.

"Each camp day and session was highly choreographed to maximize participation and activity time," Training Center Director Matt Smith said. "Our instructors were from a group of former professional players, as well as the best local collegiate and high school coaches."

According to Smith, more than 14,000 young ball players have participated in the Diamondbacks camp since it started in 1999.

Payson hosted its first camp on the Payson High School field and former Longhorn baseball coach Teddy Pettet was on the staff.

This summer, more than 95 week-long camps will be held in 35 Arizona municipalities over a nine-week period that began Memorial Day.

The final camps will be held July 25 to 29 in Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Glendale, Tucson and Anthem.

Diamondback camps began July 18 in Camp Verde and Flagstaff.

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