Edwin Jackson, a starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, returned to Fort Benning Saturday to lead the Edwin Jackson Baseball Camp for children ages 6-14.
The mini-camp took place at the Child, Youth & School Services Youth Sports Complex. Attending the camp with Jackson were Willie Horton, who played with the Detroit Tigers, former Houston Astros slugger Glenn Davis and former Los Angeles Dodgers infielder and outfielder Garey Ingram.
“I started out here where they are,” Jackson said.
He said he hoped to be an inspiration and motivation to the kids, wanting them to follow their dreams. Jackson grew up in Columbus and Fort Benning. His father, Edwin Jackson Sr., was a sergeant first class in the Army. When asked about pitching his first no-hitter during the 2010 season, Jackson said it took a little good luck and the team behind him.
Horton, who attended the camp last year, said his whole life had been about people and he would make plans to come back another year. He hoped the children will be able to attend Detroit Tigers spring training in Lakewood, Fla. as part of a field trip.
Also in attendance at the baseball camp was the Georgia Northern Little League championship team. The team played in the 2010 Little League World Series.
Matthew Lang, a third baseman with the Georgia team, said the best thing about the Little League World Series and representing Columbus and the state of Georgia was “being able to represent our hometown and play on ESPN.”
Jackson threw a few pitches, including some to Lt. Col. Thomas Sheehan, the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment commander, who hit a home run. Sheehan also received the jersey Jackson wore at the camp.
“It’s always good to give back to the community and come back to where you came from,” Jackson said. Most importantly, he said, he wanted the kids to just have fun and let out stress through baseball.