Adley gives back to hometown kids via camp

October 13th, 2021
Jared Ravich/

Earlier in October, returned home to Oregon after the longest season of his life. Seriously -- Rutschman’s first full year of pro ball ran from February at Major League Spring Training to early October at Triple-A Norfolk, and baseball’s No. 1 prospect played almost every day behind the plate.

So naturally, Rutschman made sure one of the first things he did was get back on the field -- this time with the company of 125 local kids. In partnership with USA Baseball, Rutschman hosted a baseball clinic this weekend at Charles B. Walker Stadium for Portland-area youth. The event marked the first in-person clinic from USA Baseball’s homegrown program, which strives to encourage elementary-age baseball and softball participation. The camp was free for kids aged 5-12 from the greater Portland area.

"I’ve been wanting to do something back home ever since I got drafted," Rutschman told USA Baseball. "I think the biggest thing when it comes to being a professional baseball player and having the opportunities that we have is the ability to give back. I’ve always been looking for that opportunity.

"The homegrown program allowed for that, and for me to interact with the community of Portland and Oregon in general. It’s something I’ve dreamed of. It means a lot to me, just seeing all of the people that came out, all of the organizations that came out to help. I think that has had a bigger impact than we realize now, and this can continue to build and grow.”

Jared Ravich/

Sporting the Team USA jersey he wore for the collegiate national team in 2018, Rutschman led participants through numerous baseball stations, held a Q&A session and signed autographs for every attendee at Saturday’s camp. Rutschman grew up 20 miles southeast of Portland in Sherwood, Ore., and starred for Oregon State from 2017-2019. The Orioles drafted him first overall out of Corvallis in ’19; two years later, he’s rated the game’s top overall prospect by MLB Pipeline and expected to debut by early '22.

Rutschman also comes from a long line of decorated baseball instructors: his grandfather Ad won a national championship at Linfield University, and Rutschman's father Randy, is considered one of the nation’s premier amateur catching coaches. All of that made Saturday’s clinic a natural fit for Adley, who has often spoken about the importance of giving back during his Minor League career.

"There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with giving back and that is definitely a benefit, and it is a reason you do it,” Rutschman said. “But, I think you reshape your mind in order to think that this is having a bigger impact than just you giving back. It’s really about the kids' experience and giving them something they can remember and build off of, and just trying to make sure they have a good time. Even that hour or two hours that you give, hopefully, goes further than just today."