Former Arkansas Razorbacks ace Kevin Kopps, now a pitcher in the San Diego Padres organization, will conduct a free pitching camp for kids on Saturday, January 22, at Hot Springs’ new Majestic Park baseball complex.
“Kids age 9 and older can come and get once-in-a-lifetime coaching on their pitching techniques,” Derek Phillips, manager of Majestic Park, said. “It’s absolutely free, and there’s no need to pre-register. The camp will be held on Babe Ruth Field, sponsored by Oaklawn. “Kids just need to show up with their gloves and get to interact with Kevin from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on January 22. The teaching session will be followed by autographs for camp participants. We need to remind everyone that no metal-spiked shoes are allowed on the new baseball fields.”
Phillips said the concession stand at Babe Ruth Field will be open.
For more information, call 501-359-2414.
Kopps, now a pitcher in the San Diego Padres organization, played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks, competing in the Southeastern Conference. As a collegian, in 2021 he won the Golden Spikes Award, the Dick Howser Trophy, National Pitcher of the Year Award and Stopper of the Year Award.
After his record-setting year at Arkansas, Kopps was drafted 99th overall by the Padres in the 2021 Major League Baseball and finished the year in Double-A. He is a native of Houston, Texas, and spends his off-seasons in Fayetteville, Ark., with his dog, Bowie. Phillips also reminded fans that youths age 5 to 15 can start signing up on January 10 for the return of youth-league recreational baseball at the new five-field Majestic Park baseball complex.
“Beginning January 10 kids can sign up for the Majestic Park Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth League,” Phillips said. "Majestic Park is proud to bring back the league for baseball for all kids in our community," Phillips said. "The league was a huge part of this community and has been missing for the last few years. Majestic Park will bring this important resource back to our community bigger and better. "
Phillips said play in the league will start Monday, March 28, and run through May 26. League games will be played on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Age divisions and registration costs will be:
• 5 and 6 Tee Ball Cal Ripken — $75
• 7 and 8 Coach Pitch Cal Ripken — $85
• 9 and 10 Cal Ripken — $95
• 11 and 12 Cal Ripken — $95
• 13 through 15 Babe Ruth League — $95
There will be no admission charge for league games.
“There will be financial assistance for those kids who need it through the Majestic Park Scholarship Fund,” Phillips said. “Our goal is to help all kids play and have good baseball equipment through this fund. The Scholarship Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that was established to assist kids who can’t afford to sign up or buy baseball equipment. This was created to make sure any boy or girl will be able to play ball at Majestic Park.”
League registration information is available at www.majesticpark.org and the Majestic Park Facebook page, Phillips said.
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