Yankee Camps Out with Local Kids

The kids were told that good pitching is less about ball movement than -- like real estate -- location, location, location.

could be forgiven if his mind had been elsewhere when at Summer Trails Day Camp in Somers, Westchester County.

The Yankee relief pitcher, who’s called Houdini for making batters disappear in the late innings, had some pressing business to attend to after his morning session with the campers. Before heading to the Stadium about 2 p.m. for a night game -- players are due on premises 4-5 hours before the first pitch -- the Tuscaloosa, Alabama native was headed straight back to his Manhattan apartment, where his wife was due to give birth any moment.

Summer Trails Day Camp, on a particularly pastoral stretch of Mahopac Avenue midway between Routes 6 and 35, has a proud history of hosting professional ballplayers. Previous camp owner Dave Silverstein, who was on hand taking photos, recalled that many seasons ago, a future Hall of Famer like Jim "Catfish" Hunter could not only share some big league expertise with the youngsters, but pitch to them. "Imagine telling your kids one day that you batted against Catfish Hunter," Mr. Silverstein marveled as we chatted.

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