D-Back To Host Diamond Camp

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The Arizona Diamondbacks will return to the Rim country July 11 to July 15 for the Diamondback Training Centers -- a big part of the Payson summer sports scene for the past six years.

"We come to your local field and bring professional know-how straight from the field at Bank One Ballpark," Training Center Director Matt Smith said.

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Among the techniques coaches teach campers at the Diamondbacks Training Centers are proper overhand throwing and pitching.

The Payson camp will run from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Rumsey Park. The camp is open to aspiring players ages 6 to 12.

According to Smith, more than 14,000 ball players have participated in the camps since they were founded in 1999.

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

The camp fee is $160 which includes a Diamondbacks hat, T-shirt, wrist bands and two tickets to a 2005 Diamondbacks home game at Bank One Ballpark.

The camp curriculum, which is endorsed by the Arizona baseball staff, is matched to the age and skill level of the campers, Smith said.

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

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

Since enrollment is limited to the first 50 campers, Smith is recommending youngsters sign up as soon as possible.

In previous years, the camps have not only drawn from the Rim country, but also young players from the Valley whose parents are eager to escape the heat with the hour-and-a-half commute.

Beginning June 5, registration can be completed online at www.dbacksoutreach.com or by calling (800) 821-7152.

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