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Astros host day camp for 200 youth at MMP

MLB.com @brianmctaggart

HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. gave pitching tips in the bullpen. Carlos Correa showed proper fielding techniques in the infield, with Josh Reddick doing the same in the outfield. World Series Most Valuable Player George Springer encouraged kids to hit the ball hard and up the middle.

Talk about your star power.

HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. gave pitching tips in the bullpen. Carlos Correa showed proper fielding techniques in the infield, with Josh Reddick doing the same in the outfield. World Series Most Valuable Player George Springer encouraged kids to hit the ball hard and up the middle.

Talk about your star power.

About 200 area kids reveled in getting All-Star advice Saturday at sun-splashed Minute Maid Park from the World Series champion Astros, who are still basking in the glow of the franchise's first title. The camp, which hosted kids who play at the fields that have been renovated as part of the Astros Community Leaders program, was the brainchild of McCullers.

"Everyone here lives pretty much primarily in Houston and we wanted to just do something where we give back to the kids in the city and hold a camp," he said. "We felt it was a good time after winning the World Series. A lot of the guys here have a lot of other stuff going on and have their passion for, but I thought it was cool that we all came out here together to be here for the kids."

Keuchel, who like McCullers, Correa and Springer was an American League All-Star in 2017, said McCullers approached him about a month ago and asked him to help out. He delayed a flight to Los Angeles so he could assist with the camp.

"Any time you get kids out here in early January, it's a little cold but they're so excited because we're here in a baseball atmosphere, in a World Series stadium," Keuchel said. "This is what it's all about."

Springer was a hit with the kids, whose eyes got wide when they passed through his station to get hitting advice. Springer shook off an 0-for-4, four-strikeout performance against the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series en route to winning MVP honors in the Fall Classic.

"I've spoken to a lot of kids who loved the World Series and didn't like the losses, but they liked the wins," said Springer, who is set to be married on Jan. 20. "Hopefully it sparks some interest in the game with some kids who might not necessarily have played the game."

Correa, who started at shortstop for the AL in the All-Star Game last year, has been as active as any player in the community in the months following the World Series.

"It's amazing to spend a couple of hours with these kids and bring some of our baseball knowledge and be able to do something good for the community," he said. "The kids are the future of baseball and you just want to teach them the right way to play baseball."

Reddick made sure he had time to participate in the camp before heading out on a vacation to Hawaii.

"It's always fun to give back to the kids and get a little Saturday day camp here in the offseason and just see smiling faces come out there," he said. "Seeing all the guys out here like Keuchel, Lance, George Springer -- you don't get to meet an MVP every day -- so for kids to come out here and be able to meet some World Series champions has got to be fun."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

 

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