Tejada makes time for area kids

Tejada makes time for area kids

HOUSTON -- Shortstop Miguel Tejada is doing more than just facing the Astros' cross-state rivals, the Texas Rangers, this week.

In the same three-day span as the quest for the Silver Boot, the shortstop is hosting a baseball training camp for kids.

The clinic, which started Tuesday and will continue through Thursday, will give more than 300 children from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston one-on-one instruction in baseball fundamentals.

Mike Harris, a former MLB player, scout and coach and current coach at Miracles Baseball Academy, is also involved with the clinic.

"There's a lot of kids that don't have an opportunity to see a professional athlete and have him come talk to them," Tejada said. "When I was a little kid, I never had an opportunity like that. The reason I do it now is because I know how important it is for a professional sports guy to come talk to them. When the kids see that, they come alive."

Astros mascot Junction Jack will also be on hand to entertain the kids at the event's three different locations.

Tejada addressed the attendees following Tuesday's camp and was available for autographs.

"I tell those kids just to be cautious of what they do and say and to listen in school," he said. "They're too young to be worrying about where they can be in the future. They just need to worry about what they can do now in school. That's going to help them to be better people, and that's the big thing."

Tejada, who said he considers himself a role model, had no difficulty talking to so many kids at once.

"I always have fun when I do something with kids," he added. "For me, it's not hard because I love to talk to kids. I would love to do it almost every day. The more kids the better for me."

Krysten Oliphant is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.