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Stars, ACE athletes come out for Sox Serve

250 Chicago youth from inner-city programs participate in skills clinics
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- There's no a such thing as a rain delay when you're a kid.

Even with rain coming down at Curtis Granderson Field at the University of Illinois-Chicago, laughs and fun were abound Wednesday as the White Sox and their Amateur City Elites (ACE) program joined forces to host 250 Chicago youth in a baseball clinic.

CHICAGO -- There's no a such thing as a rain delay when you're a kid.

Even with rain coming down at Curtis Granderson Field at the University of Illinois-Chicago, laughs and fun were abound Wednesday as the White Sox and their Amateur City Elites (ACE) program joined forces to host 250 Chicago youth in a baseball clinic.

The White Sox are celebrating "Sox Serve" week, putting together a camp to benefit kids ranging from 9 to 12 years old from the White Sox Inner City Youth Baseball (ICYB) and Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities (RBI) programs, giving kids the chance to learn how to run the bases, hit home runs, catch pop flies and follow the game.

Also giving them a chance to meet some of their heroes. White Sox infielders Todd Frazier and Matt Davidson, along with former White Sox player and current team ambassador Harold Baines, were among those on hand to help coach the next generation of sluggers.

"Bottom line, it's about the kids out there," Frazier said. "If we can teach them a little bit about baseball, a little bit about life and have a little bit of fun in general, it goes a long way. I think us as players have a responsibility to come out here, help these kids out and steer them the right way and we're doing it through the great game of baseball."

The constant downpour of rain reminded Frazier of some of his times playing as a kid, splashing around and using the weather as a bonus instead of a detriment.

"Nothing bothered us [as kids]," Frazier said. "Thirty degrees, snow, we always found a way to make a base or make an adjustment to playing baseball or whatever sport it was, especially baseball. Baseball in the rain, I think as a young kid you just want to slide everywhere and I think they're starting to get a little crazy now in the best way possible."

Davidson said that, beyond the fun, he felt it was his duty as a big leaguer to provide a positive influence on the next generation of kids. Serving as that role model, he said, can make a big impact.

"It's awesome," he said. "I remember these camps as a kid. They're all excited, and it's pretty cool that we have the opportunity to come here and help them out. When you're a little kid, seeing a Major League Baseball player is a dream come true. I'm glad to be that guy today."

As part of their "Sox Serve" week, the White Sox organization reached out to the local community to find ways to help others while generating opportunities for the next generation of potential big leaguers. Frazier said his role as a key figure in the community is something he and the organization have taken seriously.

"The White Sox, they're top-notch," Frazier said. "They understand not only what it means to serve as a baseball team, but in the community as well. We have a great organization. We have a great group of people who work tireless hours to get stuff like this done."

Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago White Sox