HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- The Coker College baseball team gave back to the Hartsville community after the Thanksgiving holiday by volunteering to host a youth baseball camp along with former major league baseball stars Ken Griffey Jr. and Orlando Hudson.
Hudson was a two-time All Star, and four-time Gold Glove winner over his illustrious 11-year career, primarily spent with the Toronto Blue Jays and Arizona Diamondbacks. The Darlington, South Carolina native helped facilitate the event with the City of Hartsville, Griffey, and Coker College head coach Luke Harrigan.
Griffey was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 2016, after a 22-year career spent mostly with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds. The slugger ranks seventh all-time in Major League Baseball history with 630 career home runs.
"Myself and Ken Griffey Jr. would like to thank Coach Harrigan along with his assistant coaches and his players," Hudson said. "These guys were tremendous help and really enjoyed the kids. If you guys at anytime get a chance to go to a Coker baseball camp, you will not be disappointed. It was a great week around the community and it was awesome to have the Coker baseball team giving back and everyone appreciated it!"
The Cobras worked with more than 80 kids ranging in ages from six to eighteen years old over the four-day event. The Coker baseball team taught the campers how to stretch, and conducted hitting, fielding, and throwing drills.
"The Coker College Men's baseball team was instrumental in the success of Pee Dee Major League Camp," said Jessica Cohen, Sport and Tourism Group Coordinator with the City of Hartsville. "The players and coaching staff gave personal individualized attention and instruction to all campers."
After the players finished training the campers, they led them in a full slate of games on the final day, covering three fields at Byerly Park.
Coker head coach Luke Harrigan said, "It was great to be able to get out in the community and have our guys really connect with the youth around the Pee Dee area. We saw a lot of familiar faces and I know our guys enjoy working with kids. I'm really thankful to Orlando and Ken for their roles in bringing the camp to Hartsville, and for allowing our team to get so involved in what turned out to be such a fun, positive experience for the campers."