Former Blue Jay Lloyd Moseby teaches skills at Charlottetown baseball camp

Some young P.E.I. baseball players are getting pointers from former Toronto Blue Jays this week in Charlottetown.

'It's just so much fun to see a kid improve,' says '80s star

'I wish it had been me who made that catch. Always George Bell,' Moseby said during an interview with CBC's Steve Bruce. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Some young P.E.I. baseball players are getting pointers from former Toronto Blue Jays this week in Charlottetown.

Lloyd Moseby, Frank Catalanotto and Tanyon Sturtze are on the Island for a two-day camp that started Thursday.

There are 14 camps across the country this summer, organized by the Blue Jays Baseball Academy.

'The best advantage' for kids

Moseby, who was part of the Jays' star-studded outfield in the 1980s, said he enjoys passing his skills on to the kids.

"It's just so much fun to see a kid improve. Because we come back to the same places most of the time. You'll see a kid who's not very good, and then two years later you go, 'Oh my goodness,'" he told CBC News: Compass guest-host Steve Bruce.

"We just try to get the kids the best advantage that they can."

'Somebody helped me, right?'

Despite all the other places he could be, Moseby relishes the camps every summer because it's a way to give back.

"This is what it's all about. Somebody helped me, right? This is what we do. Actually, I would rather be no other place."

Gabe Waugh of Charlottetown is among the kids taking part in the two-day camp. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Much of the first day was spent fielding ground balls, throwing it back and running.

One of the kids taking part was John Drake, who turns nine in two weeks.

"I'll probably learn how to throw lower because I usually throw really high, and to bat better because when I'm batting, I usually don't get ready. I have to get ready once they throw the ball."

'I just love the sport'

Jesse Illingworth-Cheslock came all the way from Luskville, Que., as a birthday present from his mom. He wants to learn to be a better pitcher and outfielder.

"I just love the sport in general, so it's fun. Baseball is my favourite sport to play."

Gabe Waugh of Charlottetown appreciated the chance to take direction from former MLB players.

"I get to learn from the players who actually got to experience what it's like to be in the major leagues."

'Just give what you got'

Moseby, 58, said the camps aren't only to develop skills, but to encourage kids to give back to the game.

"Not everybody's going to make it, right? Not everybody's going to go to college and play baseball. The message is, 'Hey, listen, just give what you got.'"

The kids spent a good chunk of the first day fielding ground balls and throwing them back. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

The game hasn't changed much over the years, the Blue Jays ambassador said, but the terminology and statistics have.

"I'm pretty stupid with the new stuff, but then when they say baseball, oh, damn, I'm smart again," he laughed. 

'We love this Island'

"Baseball is just a fun game. It's a game you just go out and play, and you run to first base and then you go to second. Have we changed 90 feet [between bases] yet? OK, I'm still smart."

They're only here for a few days, but Moseby said he enjoyed partaking in P.E.I. fish and ice cream Wednesday night.

"It was incredible. I'm gaining weight. I'm getting older. We love this Island. We don't come here enough."

Lloyd Moseby had some fun on the first day of camp on Thursday. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

His favourite memory of being a Jay was George Bell's iconic catch in left field that clinched the franchise's first American League East title in 1985.

"I still have a picture of it on my wall. I wish it had been me who made that catch. Always George Bell," he said.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Steve Bruce


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