July 13, 2018
By: Leah Kocse
Are you looking for a youth baseball camp unlike any other... Well look no further than Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, where the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will be holding their last camp of the summer in 2 weeks! Presented by Capital Blue Cross, the youth baseball camp is offered to both boys and girls, ages 7-13. There are a total of 3 camps in the summer, all separated by age. The last camp, July 24, 26-27th, will be for kids ages 11-13.
When we arrived at the first camp last month, it was the 7-to-8 year olds tearing up the field. A typical day for these kids starts at 9 a.m., where campers rotate between different stations learning the fundamentals to become better ballplayers, from a handful of IronPigs All-Stars! On this Particular day, instructors included Nick Rickles, Adron Chambers, Jacob Waguespack, Brandon Leibrandt, and Pitching Coach Dave Lundquist! L.V. IronPigs Community Relations Manager Jeffrey Draluck spoke with us about how these campers are playing on a professional grade field with guys moving up to the Phillies, mentioning some of last years instructors like Rhys Hoskins, Dylan Cozens, Nick Williams, Scott Kingery and Ben Lively. Not only are these kids learning from the best, they're also getting a behind the scenes look at a typical practice for these professional baseball players.
As part of their station rotations, these campers were given access to the batting cages, located underneath the stadium seating behind the dugout! That was probably the coolest part for the kids, as well as myself! I never even knew that this area even existed! While there, campers practiced their hitting skills. Another station included catching fly balls off the wall in the outfield! another neat experience for any kid who loves the game, and aspires to one day go pro! and while the kids are having a great time, the players are too!
L.V. IronPigs Catcher Nick Rickles told us "You know it kind of takes you back to your younger days. I mean baseball's still fun, you know being able to play this long, but seeing these kids and how much fun they have just hitting a home run in the middle of center field kind of brings back memories and gets you excited to play. For me, I love it, their personalities are all different and I always tell the guys in the clubhouse I enjoy being around these guys almost more than my own team, they make me laugh a lot."
Parents are also having a great time watching their kids have fun! We spoke with Guy Thompson from Coopersburg who brought his twin sons back to camp for a 2nd year, along with 3 more of their friends from little league and their elementary school. Thompson recalls with excitement how after camp last year, his kids would attend an IronPigs game telling their mom and grandparents "I was in the tunnel where the players hit, I was out there, I caught balls off the wall!" Thompson also mentions another camp perk, "they hit home runs out here, over the center field fence, and they let us keep the ball. The players will autograph it for them at the end of the day, it's a great experience!"
Believe it or not, there are even a few more perks that make this camp even better!
Campers are treated to a daily lunch during each day of camp, receive 2 tickets to a selected IronPigs game during the camp, on-field recognition prior to IronPigs games on their camp group night, and an official camp t-shirt! It's enough to get you to go HOG WILD!
For more information about the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Youth Baseball Camp, you can go online at