6/12/2017 10:00 A.M. ET

MLB alumni pass on knowledge, experience to kids at Miami clinic

Alfonseca, Arias among former ballplayers who participated in event

MIAMI -- In front of 30 or so wide-eyed kids, Antonio Alfonseca extended his arm and flashed a two-seam fastball grip in the right-field bullpen of Marlins Park.

The former Marlins reliever and 1997 World Series champion was one of seven former Major Leaguers who participated in a free Legends for Youth baseball clinic for more than 160 local youth players hosted by the MLBPAA on Saturday morning.

The crop of ex-big leaguers -- which combined for 44 seasons, 1,842 games played, 62 wins and 142 saves -- included fellow 1997 World Series champion Alex Arias, Hector Almonte, Bill Hurst, Terry McGriff, Rusty Meacham and Brad Pennington. They took the kids through a variety of hitting, fielding, pitching and outfield drills.

Alfonseca, a native of the Dominican Republic, said he didn't have these sorts of opportunities growing up. It's why he jumped at the chance to partake in the event.

"I played in the big leagues. I want any kid here to make it to the big leagues," Alfonseca said. "I'm happy when I teach these kids."

Long toss, icing, conditioning and pitch grips were all topics the 11-year veteran reliever touched on. It wasn't long before kids began asking him how hard he once threw and how many saves he had. His responses -- 100 mph and 45 saves one season -- wowed them.

"Anything," Alfonseca said of what he preached the most Saturday. "What I did before, I can teach them."

Arias, on the other hand, offered a more specific piece of advice for the young athletes.

"I always tell them you've got to be mentally prepared all the time," Arias said. "Respect the game, respect your coaches, respect your teammates, and if you do that, you'll be fine."

An 11-year veteran infielder, Arias didn't have the luxury of practicing with former players in a Major League park either. The New York native said his goal is similar to Alfonseca's: Help get these kids to the bigs.

"They're blessed. I wish I had that opportunity," Arias said. "I just got to give them a little bit of my advice and hopefully they can get there."

One young player who took Arias' drills and advice to heart was Alejandro Hernandez. The 16-year-old infielder and Miami native said he hopes to take what he learned with him and implement it on the field.

"The number one piece of advice I learned today is, 'Stay confident and believe in yourself,'" Hernandez said. "Because if you believe in yourself, then you can achieve."

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