TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) - Mike Martin Baseball School at Florida State University. For many elite baseball players, it's one stop on the journey to the bigs. Chipper Jones, Alex Rodriguez, they all took part in the camp. Many campers in Tallahassee this week are chasing the dream just like their big league heroes.
"It's one of those things, you grew up watching the Doug Mientkiewicz, the JD Drews," said Robby Read, who grew up in Tallahassee and attended Leon High School.
Like Mientkiewicz, and like JD Drew, Read's dream came true- a a three year starter for the Florida State Seminoles, and the dream got it's jump at Mike Martin Baseball School.
"I kind of remember Robby Read coming to camp, but I do remember him when he got older and came through our older camps," said Chip Baker, who is Director of Baseball Operations for the Seminoles. "I remember how well he threw the ball. That was in the min-90's."
"You learn stuff," said Read of the camp. "You take some of the things you were taught and put it to your game, but it's different when you're having to apply it back to younger guys, and youth who are looking for knowledge and looking for something that's going to help them improve their game."
Improving their game is what Mike Martin Baseball School is all about. One week. Instruction from former Seminoles and experienced coaches.
"Florida State's my favorite overall college," said 13 year old Reid Brown, who is a three time camper. "They have a great baseball program. They always get deep in the season. They do good with their fundamentals, and the teach me a lot of things I need to know later on."
The best part for Brown? Getting to play on Mike Martin Field.
"Yeah, the big eyes we call them," laughed Read of the camper's expressions after taking that first step on the field. "You don't really think about it, and then all of a sudden, they're on TV and then there's the kid at the All-Star game, and he's a Major League Baseball player, and you're going, I remember when..."
For these kids, it's a dream that started in Tallahassee.