Annual Reds Rookie Success League kicks off around the Tri-State - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Reds Rookie League building character in local kids

COLUMBIA TUSCULUM, OH (FOX19) -

The 10th annual Reds Rookie Success League (RRSL) is in full swing this summer at five different locations around the Tri-State.

The free, co-ed, summer baseball program offers an introductory baseball program for boys and girls, ages 6-12.

One of the camps in Columbia-Tusculum featured a few Reds players and some good old-fashioned fun for inner city kids.

Not only are they drilled in baseball fundamentals like hitting, catching and throwing, but Reds Community Fund Executive Director Charley Frank says they're also getting a valuable lesson in character building.

"We use baseball as the hook sort of to get them in and have a character message based on cooperation and respect that we've been teaching now for 11 years," Frank tells FOX19.

He says everyone involved tries to set a positive example for the kids to follow.

"Some good role modeling from committed volunteers and adults and Reds players, and just the kids walking away with the feeling that there are others that care about them." 

Kids, such as Honesty Lowery from Price Hill, seem to have taken those lessons to heart.

She tells FOX19's Gordon Graham on Wednesday, "Respect... How to treat others the way you want to be treated."

The Reds Rookie League is also a gratifying experience for coaches like Craig Blue.

"That's the joy right there. When you see a child smile from running, catching a ball and running. That's the joy right there. That's one of the greatest feelings you can have," said Blue.

There are 2,000 kids in total participating in the summer program, with camps in Columbia-Tusculum, Batavia, Fairfield, Dayton and Louisville.

All of them will be treated to a day at the Great American Ball Park on Thursday and receive a free baseball glove when the Reds take on the Pirates.

Follow this link to learn more details about RRSL: http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/community/rcf_rookie_success.jsp

Copyright 2013 WXIX. All rights reserved.

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