JOLIET – Former Lockport Hall of Fame coach Jim Hall coached Joliet West shortstop Cody Grosse in last year's Midwest Baseball Classic.
"He was outstanding," Hall said. "At one point he reached base 15 times in a row."
Joliet Catholic's Nick Dalesandro competed in the Chicago Pitch & Hit Showcase a couple of years ago and played for Hall.
"Talk about a versatile athlete," Hall said. "He said, 'Coach Hall, you can put me anywhere you want.' He could catch, pitch, play center field, shortstop, anywhere. You can see why [JCA coach Jared Voss] says what he does about him."
Hall said Dalesandro just missed earning the ultimate for his age, a spot on the USA Junior National Team. He said he is on the alternate list.
Grosse and Dalesandro are members of the roster of Team Illinois White, which Hall is managing, in the Midwest Baseball Classic, which he is operating beginning Tuesday and continuing through Thursday at Plainfield South.
Plainfield South pitcher/outfielder Shane Ritter, Joliet West pitcher/outfielder Robert Talarico and Tigers third baseman/pitcher Griffin McGuire also will play for Team Illinois White.
The other teams in the event are Team Illinois Tan, Colorado, New York, Indiana and Missouri. The format is a round-robin. Team Illinois White has games at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
"Our team finished 3-2 last year," Hall said. "We were 5-1 the year before that – got beat on a walkoff – and 6-0 the year before that.
"I really enjoy this because it gets me back into coaching and it's a chance to coach good players."
Not that Hall needs something to do. He is a board member with the Pitch & Hit Club and the Old Timers Baseball Association of Will County. He conducts baseball clinics worldwide and coaches USA national teams.
As soon as the Midwest Classic concludes, he will fly to Minnesota to participate in Ron Coomer's golf outing there. While there, he will visit with Lockport graduate and Minnesota Vikings first-year head coach Mike Zimmer at the Vikings' training camp.
But first things first. Let's play ball.
Learn more about the Midwest Baseball Classic at http://hfosterbaseball.blogspot.com/p/mwcbt.html.