It makes me mad to hear that there are six branches of Miami-Dade Community College in the county, and because of financial difficulties, only one branch is still operating a baseball team: the north campus with Steve Hertz as coach. It's a disgrace to baseball for permitting such a humiliating situation, especially when a capable coach such as Charlie Greene at the Kendall campus no longer can help kids emerge in the baseball world as he has done successfully for 30 years.

Why don't the big-leaguers who got their opportunity at MDCC and are now making millions, people like Marlins pitcher Alex Fernandez, contribute some money to get baseball back in the other branches, especially the Kendall campus? It might take $100,000 to $200,000, a drop in the bucket for any of these players. There must be at least 25 players from MDCC who have made it to the big leagues and the big salaries.

If John Henry is smart and wishes to have baseball be the number-one sport in Miami, he can insist that players from the Marlins who live in this area (and elsewhere) contribute their time by giving free baseball lessons, as I intend to do via New Times.

I am willing to teach any youngster who is determined to make it in pro ball. I will demonstrate that it isn't all that difficult and it will not cost you a cent. I will give you the same instruction and advice I gave to Todd Stottlemyre, Bernie Williams, and others who attended my camps and became big-leaguers. Many of the greatest players of all time worked for me at my camps: Hall of Famers Hoyt Wilhelm, Willie Mays, Bob Feller, Max Carey; MVPs Elston Howard, Spud Chandler; all-stars Ken Boyer, Dick Houser; managers Zack Taylor, Bill Virdon, and many others. I helped more than 1000 players get into pro ball or college scholarships.

Regarding Robert Andrew Powell's article about Raul Hernandez and me: Raul is a Cuban-born 58-year-old pitcher who has not lost a game in five years in the over-30 baseball league, pitching two no-hitters in a row, one a perfect game against former college and pro players. Raul once pitched in the Dodgers organization, going as high as AAA ball. If John Henry had any sense at all, he would sign Raul to be the Marlins' pitching coach. One sad note: Raul recently had a double-bypass operation and is recuperating. He owns the Mobil service station at SW 137th Avenue and 56th Street.

So if there are any kids out there who want to get to the big leagues, give me a call at 305-382-2205 or write me at 7611 SW 145th Avenue, Miami, FL 33183 and I will make an appointment to give you individual instruction and advice (which no one ever gave me). Gratis! Free! Incidentally I am from the period of the Thirties and Forties and am now 82 years old.

Lou Haneles

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