MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Rendon, teammates aid at Youth Academy games

Harper, Taylor and more join in on pickup games with kids

Rendon, teammates aid at Youth Academy games

WASHINGTON -- Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon had the time of his life at the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy on Friday morning.

There he was, playing pickup baseball with a bunch of scholar athletes. Rendon played on the field for the most part, helping the kids field ground balls and catch fly balls.

For Rendon, playing with the kids was unreal. It was little over a decade ago when he was playing pickup games as a kid in Houston. Now he sees some of the kids at the Academy wearing Rendon jerseys.

"It was amazing [with the kids]. You saw me smiling. I was running around with the kids. I was even racing a couple of them. I better watch out," Rendon said.

Rendon didn't go to the Academy alone. He brought along teammates Bryce Harper, Michael Taylor, Joe Ross, Blake Treinen and Ben Revere. To say the kids were happy to see their baseball heroes is an understatement. They were thrilled.

Harper was a first-base coach for one of the teams, giving baserunning tips to some of the kids and pointing others toward second base. Harper even guided some of the kids toward home plate as they scored a couple of runs.

"[Getting the teammates out here] wasn't too bad. You know, it's tough, because it's early in the morning, being there's a game at night," Rendon said. "But they know the cause behind it. They know how much of an impact they can make, especially on the platform that they all have."

Rendon replaces former teammate Ian Desmond as a board member of the Youth Academy. Rendon said he has big shoes to fill, realizing that Desmond did a lot of work at the Academy.

"He has been a great help, so I will try to keep in contact with him throughout the year," Rendon said about Desmond. "I'll try to memorize the kids' names. Ian is going to be a big help. He is not going anywhere, even though he is with a different team."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.