1/7/2017 4:30 P.M. ET

Players, coaches give back at Legends Clinic

Former MLB player Duncan making difference in his hometown
The Legends for Youth baseball clinics combine former Major Leaguers and youth participants on the diamond, giving children an opportunity to acquire life skills and baseball fundamentals from some of baseballs brightest past stars.
MLB Alumni News

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Growing up in Tucson, Shelley Duncan found his baseball heaven.

Now, he's trying to help bring it back.

Duncan, a former big league player and the current manager of the Hillsboro Hops, the D-backs' Class A affiliate, helped run the MLBPA Legends For Youth Baseball Clinic on Saturday at Kino Sports Complex.

Current and former Major League coaches and players alike helped coach the event, which was offered for free to area kids ranging in ages from 6-14.

Some of the notable assistants included Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore, former Gold Glove Award winner Kenny Lofton and former D-backs manager and current A's third-base coach Chip Hale. Each spent significant time in the area either growing up or in college, and now they are trying to bring the baseball culture to the area.

"Baseball in Tucson is like the Mecca in the [United States]," Duncan said. "USA Baseball was here at one time. Arizona baseball was at its peak in the mid- or late '80s, early '90s. The Tucson Toros were here. Spring Training was here. That was the environment we grew up in."

Duncan's baseball "Mecca" has lost its luster in recent years. USA Baseball moved its headquarters from Tucson in 2003 after an extended stint in the area. The Tucson Toros, a popular Minor League affiliate to several clubs, moved in 2010.

Duncan wanted to come and help bring a change. Saturday marked his sixth year heading the event, continuing his participation even after retiring in 2013 following a Major League career with the Yankees, Indians and Rays. A recent College World Series championship by the nearby University of Arizona in 2012 (and title appearance in '16) has also contributed, though Duncan now wants to create even more opportunities for kids to learn the game.

"I was born and raised here, and when I was growing up, there was never anything like this," Duncan said. "I've just been getting tired with all these people setting up camps that charge $100 a pop, and most of the kids in Tucson couldn't afford it."

Saturday's event cycled kids through a circuit of throwing, hitting, stretching, outfield and infield exercises. It also taught some of the kids life lessons Duncan hopes can groom the next crop of elite baseball talent in southern Arizona.

"The one thing I wish I could pass on to every kid is just to play the game with fun and passion," Duncan said. "I know too many times where fundamentals and winning gets drilled into the kids at such a young age. It just adds on pressure and takes away from the fun. You don't see too many kids playing for the love of the game anymore, and if we can just find ways to get them to have fun, it's special."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MLBPAA Events
June 22, 2017: Bad Homburg Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
June 24, 2017: Cologne Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
June 24, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
June 25, 2017: Arizona Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
June 26, 2017: Cincinnati Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
June 26, 2017: Ennepetal Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
June 28, 2017: Duesseldorf Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 1, 2017: Rotterdam Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 1, 2017: Salinas Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 1, 2017: San Diego Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 2, 2017: Rotterdam Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 5, 2017: Rotterdam Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 7, 2017: Rotterdam Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 9, 2017: Miami Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
July 13, 2017: Cincinnati Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 15, 2017: Kansas City Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 15, 2017: Hartford Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 16, 2017: Eastport Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 16, 2017: St. Louis Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 17, 2017: Columbia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 17, 2017: Waipahu Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 18, 2017: Hilo Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 19, 2017: Dallas Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 19, 2017: Lihue Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 20, 2017: Maui Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 21, 2017: Louisville Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 21, 2017: Fort Worth Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 22, 2017: Houston Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 22, 2017: Waterbury Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 23, 2017: Noblesville Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 24, 2017: Baton Rouge Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 24, 2017: Westfield Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 25, 2017: New Orleans Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 25, 2017: Colorado Springs Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 26, 2017: Chicago Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 27, 2017: Memphis Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 27, 2017: New York Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
July 28, 2017: Hot Springs Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 29, 2017: Springfield Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
July 29, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 1, 2017: Baltimore Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
Aug. 1-2, 2017: Belgrade Lakes Fundraiser
This MLBPAA fundraising event will benefit the MLBPAA and Alfond Youth Center Foundation.
Aug. 4, 2017: Lakewood Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 7, 2017: Old Westbury Fundraiser
This MLBPAA fundraising event will benefit the Frank Catalanotto Foundation.
Aug. 19, 2017: Boston Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 19, 2017: Seattle Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 26, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Sept. 6, 2017: San Diego Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
Sept. 13-14, 2017: Harrisburg Fundraiser
This MLBPAA fundraising event will benefit the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
Sept. 23, 2017: Chicago Alumni Day
The Alumni Day Series consists of a pre-game reception hosted at Major League Baseball Stadiums and includes two free tickets for each former player and their guest.
Sept. 30, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Oct. 14, 2017: Hartford Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Oct. 14, 2017: Hartford Coaches Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Oct. 28, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Nov. 3-5, 2017: Nicaragua Clinics
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Nov. 25, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Dec. 14, 2017: Panama City Coaches Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Dec. 15, 2017: Panama City Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Dec. 16, 2017: Panama City Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Dec. 17, 2017: Colon Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Dec. 30, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Complete Event Schedule