Casey conducting camp to raise funds for special-needs playgroundPublished May 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm (Updated May 24, 2013 at 1:51 pm)
Sean Casey knew he was Major League Baseball material. But, as a senior in high school, few noticed the Upper St. Clair first baseman. After an exhaustive campaign, sending out letters and videotapes to potential colleges, Casey caught the eyes of the University of Richmond recruiters. During their lone scouting expedition, Casey smacked home runs and drove in a “ton” of runs. The Spiders offered Casey on the spot. The rest is history.
After dominating the nation – he led in the NCAA in hitting – Casey was drafted his junior year. He enjoyed a 12-year MLB career, mostly with the Cincinnati Reds. He finished with a .300 career batting average and participated in three all-star games.
Today, Casey, who was dubbed “The Mayor” because of his effervescent personality, hopes to help future players avoid the pitfalls of pursuing their dreams while raising money in the process. This summer, he will host his own baseball camp.
“If you aspire to be in the big leagues,” said Casey enthusiastically “You gotta come to this. It’s a can’t miss camp.”
The camp is also a cannot miss opportunity for Casey to raise funds for his charitable causes. One year, after having helped build the Miracle Field so that special-needs athletes can play the sport he cherishes, Casey now hopes to build a playground at the field, located in Upper St. Clair.
“It’s going to be humongous,” said Casey of the playground. “We want to build a state-of-the-art handicap-accessible playground; an all-inclusive playground. It’s going to be the best around.”
Sean Casey’s Championship Baseball Camp will be the best around, too. The clinic runs June 18-20 at the Upper St. Clair Community & Recreation Center in Boyce-Mayview Park. Instruction for ages 9 to 12 begins at 8:30 a.m. while ages 13-18 start at 1 p.m. Each session lasts three hours.
“In addition to raising money for the playground, we are going to put on a really awesome camp,” Casey said. “It’s going to be top-notch.”
Indeed, for Casey has enlisted support from some of his big-league friends. He has partnered with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to bring the best of the best in baseball instruction to the South Hills. The coaching staff includes Dave Collins, Kevin Gryboski, Bill Mosiello and Mike Wilson.
A 16-year veteran outfielder and first baseman, Collins coached eight years in the major leagues. Known as one of the fastest players in the game, Collins played with and coached all-stars such as Giancarlo Stanton, Ken Griffey Jr., Pete Rose and Kirk Gibson.
Nicknamed “Groundball,” Gryboski pitched five years in the major leagues. He spent four seasons with the Atlanta Braves and studied under Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone. He played with future Hall of Famers Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Chipper Jones. Currently, he manages the Thomas Jefferson High School baseball team.
Currently an assistant head coach at the University of Tennessee, Mosiello managed in the minor-league system with the New York Yankees and California Angels organizations. He managed or coached over 70 players who have played in the majors, including Mike Trout, Robinson Cano, Phil Nevin, Todd Helton, Craig Counsel and Sean Casey.
Meanwhile, Wilson spent 17 years as head coach at Duquesne University. He is the all-time leader in career wins for the Dukes. He has coached former MLB pitcher Joe Beimel and current Detroit Tiger Don Kelly of Mt. Lebanon. His son, Josh, plays for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“The people we have instructing are well-wired in the industry,” explained Casey. “So this camp is a no-brainer for anybody who hopes to play in college or beyond because it’s going to almost be like a tryout.”
Hence, the camp’s $499 fee could be viewed as an investment, Casey says. The tuition certainly is an outlay for the future as a portion of the camp fee is tax deductible and proceeds will fund the new playground at the Miracle Field. Plus, campers receive approximately $200 worth of merchandise and Casey’s pledge.
“I promise this camp will be one of the best your kids have ever attended,” he said. “The instruction will be second to none and the fun they have will be off the charts.”
Visit www.miracleleaguesouthhills.org to register.