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Twins coach teaches youth at Knowles

February 18, 2008

Minnesota Twins batting coach Joe Vavra brought a bit of spring to River Falls with a batting clinic Sunday.

  The Knowles Center was the location of the clinic that went from 3-6 p.m. and was for youth in the community ages 8-18.

  The UW-River Falls club baseball team helped set up and organize for the event.

  This event held at UWRF was just one of the many clinics Vavra helped put on during the Twins off-season.

  “I really like baseball and I really like working with kids,” Vavra said. “[I like] the way they look at you and listen to what you’re saying.”

    Officials estimated that about 100 youth came out for the event, despite the freezing temperatures outdoors.

  When teaching chidren, Vavra said he doesn’t do it any differently than he would with a 36-year-old veteran.

  The words aren’t that difficult and all the mechanics are pretty much similar, Vavra said.

  With the Twins Vavra has had the opportunity to work with players like former batting champion Joe Mauer, former MVP Justin Morneau and Torii Hunter.

  During the off-season, the Twins lost some of their offensive powers, but Vavra is not too concerned.

  He said he is looking forward to working with new players coming into the Twins organization for spring training.

  While this is the first event of its kind at the Knowles Center, it’s surely not going to be the last.

  Knowles Cener assistant director Ben Fraser said the Twins are planning on coming to UWRF June 30 and July 1 for an official hitting camp.

  On June 30 and July 1, former Minnesota Twin Rod Carew, Mark “Lunch” McKenzie, along with a former Falcon baseball player and a Twins player to be announced will be in town to teach the basics of hitting to youth from around the area.

  “We were extremely happy with the turnout,” Fraser said. “It gave great exposure to the University and Knowles.”