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Luncheon kicks off baseball camp

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 2, 2002
A luncheon Friday at the Rush Foundation Hospital Cafeteria officially kicked off the eighth annual Jay Powell Baseball Camp.
Powell, a former West Lauderdale High School product and now a pitcher for the Texas Rangers, will direct the camp for youths in grades three-through-12. At least eight other players affiliated with major league teams will join Powell as instructors.
The camp begins at 8:30 this morning with registration. The instruction format begins at 9 and will continue until 2 p.m.
Some of the instructors who will help Powell include Jamie Brown, a former player with MCC, who now plays with the Cleveland Indians; Paul Phillips, Kansas City Royals; Jason Smith, Tampa Bay Devil Rays; Barry Wesson, Houston Astros; Jeremy Jackson, formerly of the New York Mets; Mickey Callaway of the Anaheim Angels; Jude Volts, Milwaukee Brewers; Chris Reinke, Cleveland Indians and Hank Thoms of the Indians.
Powell said that Oakland A's player Chad Bradford and Ray Oswalt of Houston Astros will not be able to attend because of scheduling conflicts.
Powell and his wife Candace, who is also from Meridian, were thanked by Rush Hospital executive Chuck Reese for their charitable works involving the camp. Proceeds from the past seven camps have benefitted charities in the Meridian and Lauderdale County areas.
This year, proceeds from the camp will go to benefit the Hope Village for Children.
Powell said the first camp drew about 40 kids. It is expected over 100 will be in attendance when camp opens at West Lauderdale High School.
On hand at the luncheon were Meridian's two youth World Series baseball teams from 2001. The North Meridian Optimist Club's Cal Ripken 11-year-old All-Stars and the NMO 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars not only enjoyed a lunch but had Powell sign autographed baseballs, pictures and towels.

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