Hitting with Hawk and Cliff
Marlins Park may currently be set up for soccer and missing the infield, but that doesn’t mean we are shut down for business. RBI participants came out early Saturday morning to take part in an instructional baseball clinic highlighted by guest instructors Cliff Floyd (Marlins: 1997-2002) and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. The two former Marlins worked the kids out in both the home and visiting batting cages, working on front toss and various hitting drills emphasizing balance and bat speed. The clinic was not limited to the cages, had Marlins bullpen catcher Jeff Urguelles and RBI alumnus/ front office employee Danny Vargas worked with pitchers who had the opportunity to throw off the bullpen mounds. Finally, no clinic would be complete without an on-field defensive component, which the players received from another RBI graduate, George Barber.
This was not a day reserved for merely baseball; following the countless swings and throws, the participants made their way to the dugout club for a special presentation by Jose Correa and the “Play in College” program. It was great seeing the players engaged as they learned about all the opportunities and dollars available for them to continue their pursuit of higher education and playing the sport they love.
For many of these kids it was their first time ever stepping foot on a major league field and I was told by a parent that “surely this will be a day that they will not soon forget…” to which I replied, “They won’t forget it, and don’t call me Shirley.”