Alfond Center knocks it out of the park pairing MLB legends with local law enforcement

Alfond Center Baseball clinic 2023 (photo by Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

The Badges for Baseball Clinic took place on Thursday, July 27, at Maine’s Fenway Park, in Oakland. The clinic paired Major League Baseball (MLB) player alumni with officers from the Waterville Police Department to teach youth enrolled in the AYCC’s Maine’s Fenway Premier Baseball Camp about baseball and life lessons. Badges for Baseball is a program of the Cal Ripken, Jr. Foundation that uses team sports to connect youth with local law enforcement mentors. The following MLB alumni players participated in the clinic:

  • Kevin Buckley, formerly of the Texas Rangers. The University of Maine alum posted a lifetime .286 batting average in the Big Leagues.
  • Tom Burgmeier, who played primarily for the Boston Red Sox. A reliable bullpen ace, he finished his career with 102 saves. An All-Star in 1980, he posted a career high in saves for Boston while winning 5 games and carrying a 2.00 ERA.
  • Steve Crawford, who played with the Boston Red Sox and Kansas City Royals. A 6’5”, 225-pound reliever with a hard fastball, he won Game Five of the 1986 ALCS and won Game Two of the 1986 World Series in relief of Roger Clemens.
  • Matt Kinney, who played primarily for the Minnesota Twins and the Milwaukee Brewers. Born in Bangor, he posted 10 wins for Minnesota in 2003, while striking out 152 batters.
  • Pete Ladd, who was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 25th round of the 1977 amateur draft. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros from 1979-1986. He won an American League Pennant with the Brewers in 1982.
  • Jerry Martin, who played more than 1,000 games, primarily with the Philadelphia Phillies and had a career .251 batting average with 85 home runs. He spent 20 years coaching in the minor leagues with the Phillies and the Detroit Tigers after his time on the field.
  • Ryan Reid, who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A Portland native, he finished his Big League career with a 1.64 ERA.
  • Mike Torrez, who played primarily with the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. He won more than 15 games during six consecutive seasons. He helped the 1977 Yankees win the pennant with his seven straight wins in July and August. He pitched two complete game victories in the 1977 World Series.

During the clinic, each group of the youth ball players was paired with an MLB legend and an officer from the Waterville Police Department to learn the finer points of baseball.
AYCC chief executive officer Ken Walsh, worked with the MLB alumni and Chief Bonney, to make the day happen.


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