January 5, 2016
Seeing local interest dwindle in the game he loves and is now his profession, Taylor Ostrich decided now was the right time to try and do his part. Ostrich, a Carroll High alum and 34th round MLB draft pick of the Kansas City Royals back in June, hosted a two-day youth baseball camp at The Cage in Breda last Tuesday and Wednesday.
“Every time I’ve been coming back each year it seems like baseball has been less and less popular each time I come back,” the 23-year old Ostrich said. “And I kind of understand why, but I just felt like I could’ve done something to try and help that a little bit. I felt like this was a good opportunity to do that, to maybe bring some more interest back into it.”
Ostrich, who played his college ball at Indian Hills Community College for two years and then two more at Division-I Old Dominion, says roughly 25 campers from grades 3-12 came out to receive hitting and fielding tutelage. Assisting Ostrich were former Indian Hills teammate Levi Grassley, Kuemper Catholic alum Bryce Berg, Carroll alum Peyton Renning, Kuemper baseball coach Randy Snyder and his father, Mike Ostrich.
“It was nice to have them, because they kind of helped me out with ideas because I was running short on ideas,” Ostrich said.
“Really this was my first time doing anything like this. I had helped out at some camps and had an idea of what to work on and everything, but this was the first time I had ever done anything like that. I found out it was a little more work than I thought, but it was well worth it.”
The camp was broken up into two different sessions: third grade through seventh and eighth grade through 12th with both lasting two hours each day. The younger group brought out most of the attendance, which was among the things Ostrich took particular satisfaction in.
“It was cool. I just enjoyed seeing all the little kids having fun playing baseball, which is what I really stressed for most of that age group, because if you’re not having fun you’re not going to want to play it,” he said. “It was just fun to sit back and seeing everybody having fun and enjoying it and being able to teach somebody and having them working on something, even though it was just two days, that one thing then at the end of the second day they started doing it. That was just a lot better and it was just fulfilling to know that I helped them and that they were having fun while they were doing it.”
Ostrich heads back to Norfolk, Virginia (Old Dominion campus) today and says he will remain there for the next two months before departing for Surprise, Ariz. and spring training with the Royals in March.