RedStorm talks baseball with area youth

Rio Grande Sports Information

The Rio Grande baseball team participated in a
discussion about the game with area youngsters as
part of Bossard Memorial Library’s Swing Into
Reading program.

GALLIPOLIS, Ohio – When a team gives back and devotes their time to a community, it can almost be as gratifying as notching a huge win on the field.

University of Rio Grande head baseball coach Brad Warnimont and his squad might just agree with that statement after what they experienced Sept. 7 at the Bossard Memorial Library in Gallipolis, Ohio.

Met by dozens of bright-eyed youngsters, the RedStorm showed their softer side as they put on an afternoon full of stories, games, crafts and fun.

"The kids loved it," said Warnimont.  "It was a great day for my players and especially for some of the education majors that were able to interact with the kids. I'd say we probably picked a few new fans by the end of the day."

In one of the first activities, the children were able to put the RedStorm on the hot seat during a Q&A session with the players. However, according to Coach Warnimont, the kids took it easy on the players and asked questions pertaining to their favorite players, teams, and the commitment they make to be a part of the RedStorm baseball team.

Perhaps the highlight of the day occurred during story time when seniors David Steele (Kettering, OH) and Marcus Makuch (Baltimore, OH) read aloud and acted out the classic Abbott & Costello bit "Who's on First."

"There was a lot of interaction between those two and the kids during the performance and it was pretty humorous," Warnimont said. "Both of those guys (Steele and Marcus) were laughing through the bit as they acted it out, which made it a lot of fun for the kids."

The festivities continued as the kids broke off into different groups and were directed towards stations that included making bookmarks, hitting and pitching lessons with wiffle balls, and a harmless dizzy-bat activity.

"We had players at every station that were assisting with crafts and even teaching proper hitting, throwing, and bunting. The kids loved that," said Warnimont. "Some of the players continued reading to the kids. It was just a great day altogether."

In fact, the day was so great that both the library and the Rio Grande baseball team hope to make this a yearly event.

"It was very well attended and we really enjoyed ourselves," said Warninmont. "The fact that there were interactions between the players and kids was the fun of it. When a kid comes up to you at the end of the day and tells you his favorite baseball team is the RedStorm makes it all worthwhile."