By Barbara Yost
Baseball has been good to Derrin Ebert. Now he’s giving back so that baseball can help other boys fulfill their dreams of a college education.

For the past four years, the former relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves and current minor-league pitching coach for the Cincinnati Reds has run PROspects Baseball Academy. The West Valley summer program is for boys ages 10 to 18 who want to learn the game or perfect their skills.

The goal, Ebert says, is not to turn out major-leaguers but to help as many kids as possible earn scholarships for college.

“The goal is to have college paid for,” Ebert says.

A fundraiser for the academy will run from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at Uptown Alley entertainment venue in Surprise. For $75, baseball fans can register to bowl with current and former greats of the game including Ken Griffey Sr., a standout with the Reds, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners; and Corey Hart, first baseman for the Mariners. Other tickets range from $10 to $150.

Twenty major-league players will rotate on the lanes so that fans can team up with each one including Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips.

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