Sports

Vanderbilt becomes prime training spot for Major League players

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) - Baseball has put its anchor down in Nashville.  There is no major league team in Music City, but there are plenty of pros who call this home in the MLB offseason.

Vanderbilt Alums Tony Kemp and Curt Casali both play in the bigs and train at the Commodores' facility.

Cincinnati catcher Curt Casali, "I talk to plenty of people my teammates now and I tell them they're in shock and disbelief.  They are like, what is that?  It's become our own clubhouse and our locker room."

But this 30,000 square foot training center didn't appear overnight.  When Vanderbilt Head Coach Tim Corbin took over the program in 2003, he shared a vision that extended beyond his current roster.

Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin, "It was a thought that I had with Chancellor Gee when we started building the facility.  He asked me what do I think were the most important things and I said a classroom, a locker room for us but I also wanted a small little locker room for the alumni."

With the help of former players like Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price, who donated $2.5 Million to the renovation project, this has grown into a state of the art facility. 

Vandy Boys come together in this comfortable area to train & share knowledge.

Astros outfielder Tony Kemp, "I think it's important to come back here because you have those guys working towards the same goal.  If it's not to get to the bigs, it's to stay in the bigs."

"Whether it's minor leagues or big leagues, we develop a relationship.  We hang out after workouts and it's all thanks to Corbs.  He puts us in this position to gain new friends and relationships and grow as individuals," added Casali.

The pros certainly reap the benefits of this facility, but the current Vanderbilt student-athletes get something out of it as well.

Corbin said, "I think for our players it's a library full of information because they can quickly attach themselves to a former player."

"I remember walking around here wanting to play in the big leagues one day and now hopefully I can give advice to someone else and pass along advice and hopefully it helps them," added Kemp.

And even when the ship is ready to sail off for another major league season, the anchor holds strong at home base.  The Vandy Boys are always connected.


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