A winter baseball camp sponsored by the Colorado Rockies and Colorado Mesa University was held Jan. 4-6 at the Maverick Pavilion on the campus of Colorado Mesa University. This was the first annual event.
Several Colorado Rockies coaches provided instruction to participating youngsters on fielding, pitching, catching and hitting.
Over 100 athletes from Denver and across the Western Slope attended the fun-filled baseball weekend.
There were four youngsters from the North Fork area who attended the instructional camp. Presley Pene, son of PJ and Phyllis Pene; Colby Wilson, son of Jeff and Nysha Wilson; Chase and Josie Hiatt, son and daughter of Ty and Dana Hiatt, were among the 100-plus athletes at the camp. All are from Hotchkiss.
Josie Hiatt had some of the spotlight by being the only girl to attend the three-day camp.
Those athletes attending the camp received personal tips about the game from Tony Diaz (manager of the Grand Junction Rockies), Rick Mathews (camp director and scout for the Colorado Rockies), Marv Foley (Colorado Rockies catching instructor), Chris Hanks (head baseball coach for the CMU Mavericks), Ron Gideon (outfield instructor for the Colorado Rockies), Dave Hajek (infield instructor for the Colorado Rockies), and Mark Strittmater (catching instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates).
For most attendees, it was Jordan Pacheco who stole the show when he stepped on the floor to speak.
Pacheco, 26, is a native of Albuquerque, N.M. He was drafted by the Rockies in 2007 and was called up in 2011. He has played third base, first base, and has been behind the plate for the Rockies.
Pacheco began his professional career in Casper, Wyo., and played for Diaz who readily agreed to work the camp along with several of the Rockies instructors.
The talented Rockie played 97 games for Triple A Colorado Springs Sky Sox where he hit .278 and knocked in 50 runs.
As a Colorado Rockie in 2012, Pacheco had a .309 average and 54 runs batted in, 32 doubles and five home runs.
The camp's finale came at Bananas Fun Park where campers and their parents were treated to dinner and a silent auction plus an evening of autographs.
For the North Fork youngsters, and many of the other up-and-coming baseball players, there was a feeling that everything they had learned, and the new friends made, would be a lasting and lifelong experience to remember.blog comments powered by Disqus