MLB’s Carbo connects with kids

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Baseball star runs clinic before talk tonight at Grace Baptist

Photos by Tom Rivers

Bernie Carbo ran a hitting clinic for about 40 kids this afternoon at Butts Park in Medina.

MEDINA – Bernie Carbo and Pastor Dickson Beam didn’t know what to expect when they arrived at Butts Park in Medina this afternoon for a baseball clinic.

Carbo, a retired Major League Baseball player, has led hitting clinics in communities before. He typically has about 10 to 20 kids show up.

Today, about 40 kids came to the clinic and most were joined by their parents and grandparents. Carbo needed three fields to run the clinic.

“The pastor did a great job,” Carbo said about Beam, the leader of Grace Baptist Church on Park Avenue. “I’m delighted to see so many parents and grandparents out here working with the kids.”

Carbo, a star of the 1975 World Series with the Red Sox, spent two hours in the hot sun with the kids, telling them to keep their front shoulder down and front arm in when they get ready to swing. He warned against keeping the elbows up too high, something players are taught when they are kids. Carbo thinks that makes it harder to hit, and messes with a player’s balance.

Carbo said it’s more important to keep the hands loose, holding the bat with the fingers and not in the palms of the hand.

“Step and pivot,” he called to the kids, some as young as 5.

Carbo wraps up the clinic by addressing the players, urging them to be positive on the field and not worry about making outs.

Bernie Carbo, a former Major League Baseball star, signed bats, gloves and books for children and their parents after today’s hitting clinic.

Carbo runs a baseball camp near Mobile, Ala. During the summer he travels, teaching baseball fundamentals and preaching, sharing his personal story of overcoming drug and alcohol addiction after he became a Christian 20 years ago.

Carbo praised the Medina community for the turnout at the clinic.

“There were fathers and mothers here working with their kids,” he said. “There were grandparents here. We want to build those relationships.”

He told them to “edify and build up” the children. He warned against yelling at players.

“If you’re going to say something, tell them that you love them,” he said. “Tell them it’s OK to make outs.”

Carbo, 65, will speak at Grace Baptist Church on Park Avenue at 7 p.m. today.