Some little Giants are having a ball this week on the athletic fields at Santa Rosa High.
Decked out in the orange-and-black indigenous to both the historic school and the San Francisco Giants, 90 kids are running drills and playing ball in the Giants' new, week-long summer camp.
"It's an initiative on the Giants' part to get out into the community and grow baseball," said Kevin Hoover, director of Giants Baseball Camps, as his coaches shouted commands and encouragement to 84 boys and six girls aged 5 to 14.
This Giants-sponsored youth outreach effort is not the charitable, fan-funded Junior Giants program that provides a baseball experience to youngsters in under-served areas. This five-day camp costs the kids' parents $550.
In addition to the cool uniforms and small-group instruction, Hoover said, the day-campers learn essentials such as teamwork, respect and personal responsibility.
There's a theme to each day and Tuesday's was Dirty Uniform Day. Hoover said the idea is that the youngsters learn to slide and to run and play hard, and at home that night they pitch in with the laundry.
Today, the kids and coaches take a bus to AT&T Park for a pre-game, VIP tour and a visit onto the field. Hoover said the campers will spend some time with Joe Panik, the rookie second-baseman.
The youngsters won't be able to stay for the Giants' 7:15 p.m. game against the Cardinals, but they'll be home in time to watch it and their new buddy in the infield. Thursday morning, they'll be back in uniform and on the SRHS diamonds for Gratitude Day.
The Giants Baseball Camp was in Danville last week. From Santa Rosa it moves to Larkspur, Palo Alto, San Francisco and elsewhere about the bay.
Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.