Reed continues key role in community

By Matt Hill


   Former major league baseball player Jeff Reed is like a soda machine when you put a dollar in it. He gives back.
   Reed was at T.A. Dugger Junior High School on Friday afternoon to do a mini-camp with the Junior Cyclone baseball team.
   "Jeff was going to come here today, and just put on a little clinic and show us proper ways of hitting," T.A. Dugger assistant baseball coach Andy Curtis said. "We're just glad he's able to come out here and take time from his day to make us better."
   Reed has become a very familiar face among area kids since his retirement from baseball last year. He's been real active in the community, and has been promoting baseball very heavily in the last few months.
   "Baseball's a great sport," Reed said. "We need to play it here a lot more than what we do. I'm just here to help the players and the kids. The main thing is just to play. The more that we play, the better we're going to get. We've just got to play more baseball around here, and I think we will.
   "I've seen a lot of players that can play, but we just don't play enough."
   Reed is definitely doing all he can to make sure more baseball is played, especially during the fall. Reed helped to start a fall baseball league for young kids last season.
   "We had four teams with about 14 players on each team," Reed said. "I thought it went really well. I guess we played about 10 or 12 games. It was mainly for the boys that were eight years old and nine that really weren't sure if they wanted to play little league this year. I just wanted them to play out there, and learn the right way to play the game. I believe everybody had a lot of fun."
   Friday's outing at T.A. Dugger was another example of Reed giving back to the community. Reed started his professional career with the Elizabethton Twins, and this area soon became his home during the off-season.
   "This is where I began," Reed said. "I had a great time here, and the people are great and everything. So why not."
   And it's obvious that Reed will continue his quest to make baseball in the Elizabethton area as good as it can be.
   Reed feels like the future is very bright.
   "We've got some players that can play," Reed said. "I've seen a lot of boys that can play that like to play the game and everything. It will improve. The more that we play the better kids will get, and the more they will like it."
   Curtis believes Reed's visit is definitely a step in the right direction for his baseball team.
   "We're excited to have a professional baseball player who is experienced, and is willing to come here and help us. We're just real excited about the opportunity. Our kids like Jeff and they know him. We're just excited about it."