Free camp coming this week to Medford

A free baseball camp for girls and boys ages 6-14 is coming to Medford.

The M.I.T. Sports Group's inaugural South Valley Baseball Camp will take place at U.S. Cellular Community Park Wednesday and Thursday.

The camp will cover fundamentals including infield and outfield skills, sliding, pitching, throwing mechanics, base running and hitting.

The Kimmel Family Foundation, which was founded by Eagle Point resident Howard Kimmel and his wife Sandy, is providing the opportunity at no charge with help from South Valley Bank and Trust and Medford Parks and Recreation.

A suggested $20 donation will go directly to the city of Medford and local baseball and softball organizations, Kimmel Family Foundation board member Bill Van Dusen said. The foundation is also matching the $20 donation for each participant.

"We don't want the donation to stop anyone," Van Dusen said.

The camp began in Southern California, where Howard Kimmel grew up. The philanthropic foundation was created to help children, he said.

"The camps started in San Diego in 2003 and they have been overwhelmingly successful," Van Dusen said. "I was talking to Howard at a board meeting last year — and Howard is the kind of guy who is very generous but doesn't want the attention — and I said, 'What if we do something in your neck of the woods?' It came together pretty quickly."

Guest instructors will include Reggie Waller (a former director of scouting and assistant general manager of the San Diego Padres), Dr. Tom House (a renowned pitching expert), Jeff Barry (a former Major League outfielder from Medford) and Southern Oregon RiverDawgs manager Chris Wolf, along with some of his amateur players. The M.I.T. staff will also be on hand.

M.I.T. stands for mentoring, instruction and training.

The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day. Lunch will be served both days and each attendee will receive a T-shirt. Enrollment is limited.

All the equipment used will be donated to area youth baseball and softball leagues, Van Dusen said.

Register online at

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