One of four sessions of the Harvard play to Win camp being held this weekend in Cambridge, MA. Coach Walsh is in charge and runs a tight ship here. At many camps you do not see or hear the head coach. At this camp Walsh is front and center and seems to talk and greet every parent and player. He is very gracious. Many top schools besides Harvard in attendance including MIT, Navy, Long Island University, Holy Cross, Kenyoun, Babson, Vassar, Tufts and many more.
Yesterday each team played one game on O'Donnel Field. 77 players and 17 states represented. 5 players from Illinois at this session.
First inning pitched by Jason was 1-2-3 all outs.
Second inning was another 1-2-3.
The catcher then threw out the runner on a steal attempt to second by the runner on first. The adjustment to his mechanics improved velo. He kept the ball down low in the zone and the catcher had no difficulty getting the runner.
No advanced count for batter. Straight baseball and it is 6 batters or 3 outs.
Two games played today; one by each of the four teams and a tour of the campus in between games happens tomorrow. Players are screened in advance for GPA and test scores before this camp. If player does not have criteria the deposit is refunded. Harvard is very upfront about what they are looking for. Many of the same players here as were at Brown.
At end of camp yesterday Coach Walsh spoke with parents and players and thanked them for being at his camp. Some very classy and moving remarks were made by Walsh. He shared several stories about what his players were doing after playing baseball at Harvard. One former player is working on the US Defense missle system, another former player went to India to work with AIDS victims for nearly one year and he said that when he came back the first thing he wanted to do was to come out to the Harvard ball field and pick up ground balls that were hit to him. He also told the story of Javier Lopez a promising player out of Miami who was hit in the eye in the batting cages and never returned to the same prominence of hitting, but that today he is living in Miami and is pursuing a successful business career. He said what happened to Lopez was not fair, but that players need to be prepared for whatever they are faced with and that Javy Lopez did just that. Coach Walsh made note that the entire baseball team came together as a family that season to support Lopez on his long road to recovery and that he was able to return to play at Harvard again.
Coach Walsh also told the group that he is most proud that two of his former players are now in the coaching ranks and are coaching baseball at the high school level in the Boston area. He also said that he knows the recession is hurting attendance at some camps. He was gratified to see that so many players had registered. Coach Walsh received a long round of applause at the end of his remarks.
In the Soldiers Field Stadium (built in 1925) located immediately next to the baseball field a LaCrosse Tournament was underway and was being broadcast by ESPN. The place was packed with LaCrosse fans and there were lots of kids carrying LaCrosse equipment. Kids carrying their LaCrosse gear is certainly a scene that we do not see often in the Midwest!
The campus is inspiring.....It is quite the place!