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Koehler's camp to 'Pitch for Relief' for Sandy victims

MIAMI -- Tom Koehler made his Major League debut with the Marlins as a September call-up, appearing in eight games (one start).

The New York native is now hoping to make a bigger pitch for his home state.

Koehler has helped organize the Marlins' "Pitch for Relief," a one-day instructional baseball camp aimed at raising funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The camp is set for Dec. 1 at Marlins Park, and it is for players ages 9-18. Proceeds benefit the United Way of New York City Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund.

"With the holiday season coming up, there is no better time than now to give back to people that really need it," said Koehler, who lives on Long Island Sound, just north of the Bronx. "That's what Thanksgiving and the holiday season is all about. I hope we get a lot of people that feel that way."

Koehler, who attended SUNY Stony Brook, was in New York when Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29. He and his family were fortunate to not sustain serious property damage.

But the wrath of the storm affected more than eight million people and did devastation across the northeast.

A few days after the storm, when Koehler was traveling to South Florida, he thought of ways to do his part for storm victims. He came up with the idea of a camp, which will begin at noon ET on Dec. 1.

"I wanted to do something," Koehler said. "I thought about it a lot when I was flying back to South Florida after the hurricane. I was thinking of what way I could give back.

"I thought this would be a good opportunity to give the kids around here a little baseball instruction, and at the same time, all the money is going to the charity."

Several players and coaches in the organization have agreed to participate in the camp, including pitchers Brad Hand and Alex Sanabia.

Miami special assistant Jeff Conine has committed, as has Double A-Jacksonville manager Andy Barkett and Minor League pitching coordinator Wayne Rosenthal.

Participants at the camp will receive pitching, hitting, fielding and base-running instruction.

"You're donating money to a great cause, and your kids are getting to learn instruction from professionals," Koehler said. "Hopefully, we have a decent turnout. I'm just happy I'm in a position where I can do anything."

Those interested in registering should contact the Marlins Foundation at 305-480-2550 or e-mail

Tom Koehler