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Jansen, Nomar host skills clinic for RBI youths

Closer joins Minor Leaguers Amaya, Peters on Dodgers Love LA tour
MLB.com @kengurnick

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Not long after tweeting his congratulations to fellow closer and new Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was helping aspiring ballplayers fulfill their lofty goals.

As part of the week-long Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour, Jansen joined Minor Leaguers DJ Peters and Jacob Amaya in a skills clinic for participants of the Dodgers' Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program based in Inglewood.

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Not long after tweeting his congratulations to fellow closer and new Hall of Famer Trevor Hoffman, Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was helping aspiring ballplayers fulfill their lofty goals.

As part of the week-long Dodgers Love L.A. Community Tour, Jansen joined Minor Leaguers DJ Peters and Jacob Amaya in a skills clinic for participants of the Dodgers' Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program based in Inglewood.

The clinic was held at the GBG Training Academy, part-owned by current Dodgers broadcaster Nomar Garciaparra, who also joined in the instruction.

The whole scene provided a flashback for Jansen, who grew up on the Caribbean island of Curacao.

"This reminds me of when I was younger, and I see guys like Andruw Jones and Randall Simon in my country give clinics," said Jansen, now 30 with two All-Star appearances and two National League Reliever of the Year Awards.

"Just to give back to these kids and the community is an awesome thing," he said. "Reminds me how amazing it is to be with a Major Leaguer. Maybe a few of these kids can have their dream to be a Major Leaguer like me."

Tweet from @kenleyjansen74: We want to see more kids playing baseball ������ don't you?! Thanks @DodgersFdn @Dodgers for a great day of ������ for #DodgersRBI at @Nomar5's facility. #DodgersLoveLA #ForTheKids #FutureDodgers pic.twitter.com/t5KarAH5jn

Jansen still has dreams to fulfill, most immediately a World Series title that he nearly had in his grasp until the Dodgers' Game 7 loss to Houston last year.

"I'm ready. Looking forward to it," Jansen said of Spring Training, which begins next month. "The positive thing is, we can make another run to it. Got to stay positive and all of us stay healthy and see where we go."

Jansen said he's put the disappointment of the World Series behind him.

"It was deserved by Houston," he said. "The Series could have gone either way, but they deserved it. They won it. It was painful in the beginning, but it's also motivation to get back to the World Series, to see the scene. It's time for us to be champions. We have that one goal."

Garciaparra played 14 seasons, appeared in five postseasons (twice with the Dodgers), but never won a World Series. Now, in addition to his role on the Dodgers' broadcast team, he is active in the operation and management of the GBG Training Academy. The academy was started by his brother, Michael, a former Minor Leaguer who has expanded from coaching travel teams to operating the academy, where young athletes are paired with instructors and retired professionals.

"We help players get into college and get to the next level," said Nomar. "This is about instruction for baseball and softball. The whole premise is to get men and women of influence in front of our youth, sharing their knowledge. It's about true mentorship."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenley Jansen