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
Former Major League pitcher Antonio Alfonseca provides a pitching lesson to kids during Saturday's MLBPAA Legends for Youth clinic in Miami. (Photo credit: MLB.com)
MLB Alumni News

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
Aug. 21, 2017: Salt Lake City Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 23, 2017: Lakewood Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 25, 2017: Philadelphia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 26, 2017: St. Louis 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. 26, 2017: Visalia Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 28, 2017: Catonsville Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Aug. 30, 2017: Norfolk 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. 9, 2017: Kansas City Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Sept. 12, 2017: Cleveland 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. 12, 2017: Compton Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Sept. 13-14, 2017: Harrisburg Fundraiser
This MLBPAA fundraising event will benefit the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation.
Sept. 20, 2017: Oakland Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Sept. 22, 2017: Cincinnati 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. 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. 29, 2017: Tampa 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.
Sept. 30, 2017: Washington D.C. Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Oct. 12, 2017: Keller Fundraiser
This MLBPAA fundraising event will benefit the MLBPAA
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. 16, 2017: Welland Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Oct. 17, 2017: Welland 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. 16, 2017: Cuba Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Nov. 17, 2017: Cuba Clinic
Legends for Youth Clinics allow the nation's youth to learn from baseball's all-time greats.
Nov. 19, 2017: Cuba Clinic
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.
Complete Event Schedule