Pudge helping kids learn baseball basics

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on June 19, 2013 at 12:28 AM

FORT WORTH — Former Texas Rangers catcher Pudge Rodriguez is in the middle of a three-week baseball camp at All Saints Episcopal School in Fort Worth, teaching youngsters how to play baseball.

It's a summer these kids won't soon forget.

"It's an amazing experience learning from someone who knows his stuff," said Mark Zamora of Fort Worth.

"It's just cool to realize that I just threw a baseball to Pudge, and he just threw me batting practice like it was nothing," added Hurst youngster Austin McCain.

"I'm throwing the ball down and away... it's going to be a ground ball," Rodriguez instructed his young students. "Make sure you get the out."

From techniques that are supposed to produce ground balls, but turn into a pop-up instead... to showing them the old hidden ball trick... Pudge appeared to be having as much fun as he did when he first learned the game at the age of seven.

Baseball is part of his DNA.

"Absolutely, absolutely," he said. "It's a sport if you love what you do, it's going to stay with you for life."

Rodriguez retired at the end of the 2011 season. Four months ago, he was hired as a special assistant to the Rangers general manager.

Becoming a manager someday is something he is thinking about.

"Oh, who knows, but probably 'yes," he said. "But as of right now, I'm okay with what I'm doing right now. I'm very busy with the things that I'm doing off the field and with the little kids, so that's something that I've been thinking about."

For now, Rodriguez says he's enjoying retirement while working for the Rangers and holding camps like this.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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