Former Miller star helps instruct kids at baseball clinic
A couple of Stones provided some rock-solid advice to youngsters during the annual Baseball and Fitness Clinic last Saturday in Rialto.
Wesley Stone, a 2005 graduate of Fontana A.B. Miller High School who is now with the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization, joined former Major League Baseball player Jay Johnstone and several other professional competitors at the event, with was coordinated by the Joe Baca Foundation.
Stone said he enjoyed giving tips to the young players, who received instruction in the basics of batting, fielding, and pitching as well as sound advice about staying in school and avoiding drugs.
“This is awesome,” Stone said. “It’s a great turnout. You couldn’t ask for better weather today. There are a ton of kids here and they’re having a lot of fun.”
Stone was drafted by the Blue Jays out of high school and has been playing in the minor leagues in New York.
“It’s been a blast - I’m just enjoying the ride,” Stone said.
Johnstone, who started his 20 year baseball career with the Angeles and finished with the Dodgers, said he liked imparting some words of wisdom that “hopefully may help some kid - whether it’s one or 20 - down the road.”
“We have an opportunity to talk to these kids and keep them away form drugs and get them to do well in school and graduate and go on to college, and that’s what we try to do.”
Johnstone said the trend in Major League Baseball is now to draft the overwhelming majority of players out of college rather than high school.
“(Teams) want teach kids to be a little more mature,” Johnstone said. “They want them to have a college education, or at least some type of an education, so that they’re a little bit more stable not physically, but mentally.”
Jake Costantino, a freshman at Fontana A.B. Miller High School, said he paid close attention to what Johnstone and the other players said while attending the clinic.
“I liked to see them because they inspire me to keep going and stay out of trouble and stay in baseball,” he said.
Dr. Aaron Rubin, a physician in the Family Medicine Department at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, spoke to the participants about the dangers of anabolic steroids (which have created many difficulties in pro baseball recently.)
Rubin said steroids can affect users emotionally and physically, and steroids also cause problems because they are illegal.
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