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Baseball Coaching Staff Participates in Home Run Derby with Jose Canseco

Baseball Coaching Staff Participates in Home Run Derby with Jose Canseco


5/22/2017 — ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona’s baseball coaches took the field on Saturday for a unique event at Peoples Natural Gas Field prior to the Altoona Curve’s game that evening.

Lions head coach RJ Barnard and assistant coach Brett Weibley were among a group of locals who participated in a home run derby that featured former Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter Jose Canseco. The 17-year MLB veteran, best known for his nine seasons playing for the Oakland Athletics, clubbed 462 home runs during his career. On Saturday, Canseco was the centerpiece of the Altoona Curve’s pregame promotion.

Weibley, a graduate of Kent State University and former draft pick of the Texas Rangers, competed as one of the hitters in the home run derby. Other hitters in the contest included George Roberts, a Kent State alum and former draft selection of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Altoona youth league coach Tony Miller, YMCA director Frank Kopriva, Pitt-Johnstown outfielder Brett Hileman, Altoona mayor Matt Pacifico, and Altoona Curve strength coach Joe Schlesinger.

Barnard pitched to all of the batters in the derby, including Canseco.

"It was a very neat experience and, for a minute, a bit nerve-wracking to throw to a former Major Leaguer with just under 500 big league home runs," said Barnard. "Other participants included a couple guys from our summer league team."

Roberts won the event with five home runs, while Canseco, Hileman, and Weibley connected for one home run each.

"Weibley hit some lasers but struggled to get the ball elevated," said Barnard. "Unfortunately, it was a cold night for mid-May and the ball didn’t travel well. George stole the show, though, by hitting five out. Hopefully they’ll have another event like this next year."

Photo (left to right): Penn State Altoona assistant baseball coach Brett Weibley, Jose Canseco, George Roberts, Frank Kopriva, Penn State Altoona baseball head coach RJ Barnard, Brett Hileman.

TAGS: men's baseball