Tuesday Jun 03 2008
Moseby teaches fundamentals by the book at RBI
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
Blue Jays great a natural fit for Loomis academy's summer hitting camps
LOOMIS — Lloyd Moseby could swing it. The former Toronto Blue Jays center fielder clubbed 169 homers and had 737 RBIs during an 11-year major league playing career. When Paul Robles randomly reconnected with Moseby while scouting at a game in the star’s hometown of Granite Bay last summer, Robles knew Moseby was the ideal candidate to teach the summer hitting camps at his Loomis-based Robles Baseball Instruction (RBI) Academy. “The fit was the best for the RBI program because we strictly want to teach baseball and Lloyd’s biggest thing is baseball 101,” said Robles, an area scout for the Tampa Bay Rays. “He wants to treat it like a classroom environment, pouring kids knowledge about the game. Lloyd likes the fit because it’s strictly baseball, no politics.” Now in their 11th year, the Summer Series Pro Hitting camps have featured Sacramento River Cats players and coaches but never an icon of Moseby’s caliber. “It was a natural fit,” said Moseby, who first met Robles when Robles coached baseball at Granite Bay, where sons Lloyd, Jr., 23, and Lydell, 19, both played. “The chemistry was great. He’s thinking about the same things I’m thinking about, helping kids and trying to give them the proper fundamentals by the book.” The six one-week camps focus on hitting and also cover fielding, catching, throwing, pitching and baserunning. “It’s not a big facility. It doesn’t have 20,000 square feet,” Moseby said. “The things we really have are information and instruction and the ability to get kids who can’t make a team to make a team. That’s rewarding.” The second overall pick in the 1978 amateur draft, Moseby stole 280 career bases, won a Silver Slugger Award in 1983, led the American League in triples in 1984 and was an All-Star in 1986. But he’s most proud of some of his accomplishments as a coach, having worked with such present-day stars as Vernon Wells and Jose Cruz Jr. during their minor league days. “Fundamentals in baseball can’t be replaced. I’ve seen a lot of guys who had a ton of skill but no fundamentals leave the game faster than guys with not as much skill but good fundamentals,” said Moseby, who cites Cruz Jr. as a prime example. Moseby coached the now-Houston Astro during his rookie season with Toronto’s Triple-A affiliate in Syracuse, N.Y., in 1997 and again with the Blue Jays two years later. “You have to have good fortune to meet a kid at a low point in his baseball career,” Moseby said. “I was fortunate. He was a good outfielder, but he became a really, really good outfielder in a year. I was able to say some things to him everybody else was saying, just in a different way. It can be the way a guy says something, or the way they respond to you. It’s just good to see kids progress.” That’s what the RBI camps are all about. “He can talk to the kids and parents from his experience, from high school all the way up to minor leagues and the big leagues,” Robles said of the 48-year-old Moseby. “What’s nice about Lloyd is he’s actually coached in the minor leagues as well and worked with guys. He’s been around the game not only to play the game but also to develop ballplayers. It’s nice to hear it from a guy who’s played it at that level. It adds a lot of validity and credibility.” “If you can get one or two kids who can really soak up the game and you give them one thing you have to do, to dwell on it, then POW,” Moseby said. “If you can get a lot of kids excited about the game, you’ve got a good service.” The first week of camp runs Jun. 9 – 13. RBI will hold a pair of free two-hour camps on Jun. 7 and Jun. 15. Participants in the free camps receive a $20 discount to sign up for a weeklong camp. “We’re going to teach the kids for a couple hours, then they get to hang out with Lloyd and have questions and answers,” Robles said. “Dads know who Lloyd Moseby is. They’re more than welcome to ask him questions and hang out with Lloyd after it, too.” For more information call (916) 652-3900.