Category Archives: Camps

Dunno to Bring Perfect Game to Indiana, Four Other States

Soon, baseball and softball players in and around northeast Indiana will have the opportunity to take part in the world’s largest baseball/softball scouting service. Last summer, Rich Dunno, the owner of the Strike Zone baseball/softball training facility and Les Edgerton traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to meet with the president and founder of Perfect Game USA, Jerry Ford.

Edgerton was finalizing interviews for his book on the history of the organization, Perfect Game USA and the Future of Baseball: How the Remaking of Youth Scouting Affects the National Pastime (McFarland Publishing, Spring 2009) while Dunno met with Ford to interview for a scouting position.

But Dunno left that session with more than a job. Rather, Ford offered Dunno the opportunity to develop five states — Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and western Pennsylvania — for the Perfect Game organization.

Rich DunnoSince that meeting, Dunno and Edgerton and several other key players — Brian Kreager, Steed Williams, Brad Burlew, Dean Ehle and Colleen McNutt — have worked tirelessly to plan the initial showcases and tournaments in the five-state area. Six showcases and tournaments are currently being planned for 2010.

Dunno has since begun training with Perfect Game, working on several events as Field Director and Scout, including the recent week-long 17U tournament in East Cobb, GA; which featured 189 of the top travel teams in the nation and close to 300 pro and college scouts in attendance.

Perfect Game is the largest youth baseball and softball scouting service in the world. 1,191 players out of 1,504 taken in the most recent June amateur draft have attended Perfect Game Showcases.

Dunno will head the baseball operations, assisted by Kreager, Williams and Burlew. Edgerton, Ehle and McNutt will create the softball showcases and tournaments. Tentative talks have been held with the Fort Wayne TinCaps, with at least one forthcoming event to be held at Parkview Field in downtown Fort Wayne.

Meanwhile, Dunno continues to operate Strike Zone. He and the other members of his management team are hosting a Juco Baseball Showcase at the Glen Oaks Community College diamond on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009.  It is open to high school ballplayers who are graduating in 2010 and 2011 as well as other players who have not yet secured a baseball scholarship. At least a dozen college coaches and scouts will be in attendance.

For directions, costs, participating institutions and other particulars, or to sign up for one of the few remaining spots, visit the Strike Zone website at strikezonespiders.com or phone Rich Dunno at 260-705-7424. For information on Perfect Game USA, visit their website at perfectgame.org.

Photo contributed by Rich Dunno

San Diego Padres Host Open Tryout at Parkview Field

High School and College players invited to Parkview Field to be evaluated by Major League Baseball personnel

The San Diego Padres will be hosting an Open Tryout at Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps, on Tuesday, July 21st. Registration will begin at 9:00am at Parkview Field and the tryout will begin promptly at 10:00am. Attendees are encouraged to use the south entrance, located on the corner of Ewing and Brackenridge. Free parking is available in the team’s Silver Lot, located just south of Parkview Field.

Undrafted high school juniors through college seniors, between the ages of 15 and 21, are invited to showcase their skills and talents at the tryout camp conducted by area scouts of the Padres organization.

“We receive quite a few questions about people wanting to try out for the TinCaps team,” said TinCaps Team President, Mike Nutter. “We explain that all of the players on the TinCaps team have either been drafted, or signed as free agents, by the San Diego Padres. That’s one of the benefits of being affiliated with a Major League team, they have a full staff of evaluators and scouts watching players across the entire country to provide the talent on the field in Fort Wayne, Indiana.”

“What the Padres offer with this Open Tryout is the opportunity for local players to showcase their skills. The personnel that will be at Parkview Field evaluating talent have seen the best high school and college players in this area for years. This Open Tryout is an opportunity for the Padres to get another look at local talent and it is also a chance for players in this area to showcase their abilities and receive some constructive feedback. There’s never a guarantee of being signed, but there’s a chance and that’s all I think most players are looking for.”

Scouting officials and personnel directors of the Padres system will handle the entire tryout camp. No player signing decisions will be made by the Fort Wayne TinCaps organization.

Players are not required to pre-register for the open tryout through the Fort Wayne TinCaps. All players under the age of 18 will need to have their approved registration waivers signed by a parent or legal guardian. Players trying out will need to bring the following items – uniforms, gloves, shoes and/or cleats, and if needed, catching equipment. All baseballs, wood bats and batting helmets will be provided.

Eric Wedge Baseball Camp Brings Experience of Perseverance

The Journal Gazette’s Ben Smith recently posted a great article about Eric Wedge and his baseball camp. In addition to telling the when and where, he frames the article around Wedges experiences of a rough 2008 season that turned around just a little too late:

Eric Wedge likes to draw on his own experience when he comes back to Fort Wayne in the dead of winter to teach baseball. And so this year, the lesson will be, among other things, perseverance.

Perseverance, after all, took Wedge’s Cleveland Indians from last place at the All-Star break in 2008 to within 7 1/2 games of first by the time the leaves fell and the ballparks went quiet.

 

“You talk about perseverance and not giving in. … We ended up having the best record in the second half. That’s what it’s all about,” Wedge said from his home in Cleveland last week.

“I think that’s a great example. You go out there and you play for the right reasons. Even if you don’t have a chance to win a championship, that doesn’t mean you don’t go out there and play as if you did. I think there’s a serious lesson involved in that.”

Expect it to be imparted on Jan. 24 at the Eric Wedge Baseball Camps, which will again be conducted at the ASH Centre with Wedge, former major leaguer and New Haven High School standout Dave Doster and a host of other area college and international coaches and players presiding.

Eric Wedge Baseball Camps
When: Jan. 24
Where: ASH Centre, 1701 Freeman St.
Cost: $65 a participant for morning session; $90 a participant for afternoon session
Information: 436-1507, www.ericwedgebaseballcamp.com

Fort Wayne Sports Corp. Banquet
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 29
Where: Ceruti’s Summit Park Reception Hall
Cost: $75 a person for FWSC members; $85 non-members
Information: 420-1305, http://www.ericwedgebaseballcamp.com/

Cubs’ GM Jim Hendry to be Featured Speaker in Fort Wayne

It’s cold outside. Rally cold. And to make matters worse, the so-called Hot Stove League has been little more than agent posturing, absurd rumors and barely keeping the burner warm for Springtime longing baseball fans. At least things will be warming up in January when Chicago Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry takes the podium as the featured speaker at the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation’s (FWSC) Annual Banquet on January 29. The banquet and sports memorabilia auction take place at Ceruti’s Reception Hall starting at 6 p.m. and is open to the general public.

Fort Wayne native and current Cleveland Indians manager, Eric Wedge, will also be on there to talk about his team and the Eric Wedge Baseball Camp, which occurs on Saturday, January 24 at the ASH Centre.

Those who are interested in attending the event can RSVP for $85 per person (75 for Fort Wayne Sports Corp. members). Organizations can reserve a table of eight for $525. Proceeds go to the Special Olympics of Allen County, the World Baseball Academy that is planned for Fort Wayne, and the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation to provide Eric Wedge Baseball Camp scholarships for kids.

Contact the Fort Wayne Sports Corporation at (260) 420-1305 to make reservations. For more information, please visit EricWedgeBaseballCamp.com.

Coast to Coast Baseball Camp at Memorial Stadium on August 2

Coast to Coast Baseball invites local players ages 10 to 18 to one of their upcoming tryout events. Staff will evaluate skills in four areas: hitting, fielding, arm strength and speed. Tryouts will be held on Saturday, August 2, at Memorial Stadium in Fort Wayne. The hitting camp will again be at 2 p.m. that same day.

Players who are accepted to the program may choose to represent the United States in competition with Puerto Rico, or work with top college coaches and pro scouts at one of Coast to Coast’s Florida Camp and Showplace events, which are held at a MLB spring-training complex.

A three-hour hitting camp will be held the same day as the tryouts. The goal of the camp is to help players improve their hitting fundamentals, as well as their mental approach at the plate.

Since the summer of 2001, over 1600 athletes, ages 11 to 18, from 46 different states, have participated in the Coast to Coast Baseball program. For more information, players and parents can visit the website, www.CoastToCoastAthletics.com. Register for one or both events at the website or by calling the office (740) 373-4455.

Payment is not necessary to pre-register on line. Payment must be made in cash the day of the event. The tryout cost is $25; hitting camp cost is $50; to attend both events will cost $65.