CAMDEN — Ty Neal was a standout left-handed ace when he donned a Preble Shawnee uniform in the mid-90s.
He went on to play for Miami University before making a career out of baseball, now the head skipper for the University of Cincinnati’s baseball program.
But for the last three years, he’s been giving back to his old community, holding the Ty Neal Baseball Clinic at Shawnee. This year was no different, as grades two through 12 took to the ball fields to learn from him, his staff, and current UC ball players on Wednesday, March 23.
“It’s good for the soul,” said Neal on being back in Arrow-country. “Baseball is my livelihood. Anytime I can give back to not only my old stomping grounds but give back to the game of baseball and preserve the game. As a coach, it’s my job to make sure the future of baseball is in good hands. It’s neat to come back here and do it and be close enough to where I can make the most of it.”
While he and his crew were there, they worked on the fundamentals of baseball with the students – everything from fielding, to hitting, to running bases. He taught a lot about footwork for both the infield and outfield.
“I hope they take away the fact that the same stuff we work on (at Shawnee) are the same stuff the colleges work on. And although it seems repetitive and kind of boring at times, that’s what you do to get better at baseball at college or high school levels,” said Shawnee head coach Joe Leach.
Neal, while he wants to teach fundamental baseball and help preserve the game he loves, he also hopes to instill some passion in the young ball players as well.
“If you put some time into something and do the little things right and learn some things along the way and just have fun playing the game,” he said. “Ultimately my goal is that these kids of all ages can learn something and apply it to their own game. Hopefully they are having fun and enjoying it and continuing to play.”
He also added that he hopes he can be an inspiration for kids to follow their dreams:
“I do want them to understand that it is a big world out there and to roll your sleeves up, work hard and chase your dreams. You never know. I never thought I’d be the head baseball coach at the University of Cincinnati.”
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