Major League Catcher Chad Moeller Is Keynote Instructor
TELLURIDE – Now in its fifth season celebrating America’s pastime in the high country, the 2012 Telluride Baseball Festival is coming July 23-26. It will be followed by a competitive tournament July 27-29, held at Telluride’s Town Park, San Miguel County’s Down Valley Park and Norwood High School.
The Telluride Baseball Festival offers young players, ages 5-18, the combination of an instructional baseball camp followed by a competitive wood-bat baseball tournament. Baseball Festival Director Ryan Dyer says the camp is dedicated to advancing each player’s skill and confidence level. With coaches from the collegiate and professional levels, the camp creates a unique, diverse and life-changing baseball experience.
“This is such a special event,” Dyer says. “In the past, it’s given kids a newly found passion for baseball.”
Dyer points to the increased talent level and love for the game many local players – including members of the Telluride Yankees Little League team who, recently had their best season ever by winning a Little League Minors title – have achieved after attending the Baseball Festival.
“The improvement of the local players over the past few years is evident,” he says. “It’s a point of pride for both [the Yankees and the Festival. The kids are getting better and becoming more passionate about baseball.”
As usual, the Telluride Baseball Camp will feature some of the top instructors in the country. This year’s keynote instructor will be retired major league catcher Chad Moeller. After having played over 11 years in the big leagues, he will bring a one of a kind experience to this year's camp.
Moeller played in his major league debut for the Minnesota Twins in 2000, and throughout his career played for a number of teams including the New York Yankees, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He caught in over 500 major league games, hit for the Cycle in 2004 and caught Randy “The Big Unit” Johnson’s 16-strikeout game while with the Diamondbacks. If anyone has experience to share with young players, Dyer says it’s Moeller.
“He’s probably the best catching instructor in the country,” Dyer says. “This is his first year out of professional baseball, and after having caught for as many years as he did in the major leagues, he knows every in and out of that position. On top of that, after catching for all those pitchers, he’s a great pitching coach as well. He has a great hands on approach and the kids will love him.”
In addition to Moeller, the camp features top instructors from the collegiate and high school ranks. In past camps, there have been anywhere from 50 to 75 players have participated; last year, 26 local players attended. Players attending the the camp will form into teams for the July 27-29 tournament (in under-12 and under-16 age groups) to compete. A total of 15 teams are scheduled to participate, coming from Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and throughout Colorado coming to play over the course three days. Game schedules and scores will be posted and updated on the camp’s website.
The cost of the baseball camp is $325 per player and Dyer says a locals’ discount will be offered. To sign up or to get more information on the Telluride Baseball Festival, visit Telluridebaseballfestival.com.
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