MARIETTA -With a lean build, Leo "Chico" Cardenas does not really look like a power hitter.
But during his playing days as a slick-fielding Cincinnati Reds shortstop, he slugged six home runs off Hall of Famer right-hander Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants.
He also led the National League in intentional walks for two straight years in the mid-1960s.
Photo by Ron Johnston
Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Leo “Chico” Cardenas, right, poses with a youngster during a past Reds Legends Clinic at VFW Field. Cardenas will be returning to the camp, which starts Monday.
The 75-year-old Cardenas is scheduled once again to provide instruction at the 21st annual Cincinnati Reds Legends Youth Baseball Clinic, which will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the VFW Field in Marietta. He is expected to be joined by Clay Carroll, Herm Winningham, Ron Oester, Keith Brown and Stephen Larkin.
Cardenas reportedly is profiled in a new book being written by Buzz Guchenberger. In it, the author mentions Cardenas's longtime ties to Marietta through the Reds Legends Camp.
Several weeks ago, camp director Mike Wagner was interviewed by Guchenberger in Cincinnati.
"That was kind of neat," Wagner said. "It was quite an honor for me and my family to travel to Cincy and meet with Leo and Buzz for a day talking about baseball."
Cardenas, a staple at the camp for many years, usually works with youngsters on infield play. He after all was awarded a major league Gold Glove in 1965.
As for some of the other attendees and returnees coming to Marietta, Carroll, a relief pitcher, threw in three World Series for the Reds. His nickname is "Hawk."
Winningham played in the 1990 World Series as a member of the winning Reds team. He reportedly is a high school baseball coach in his hometown of Orangeburg, S.C.
Oester also was a member of the 1990 Reds World Series championship team. During his career, he was one of the few players who didn't wear batting gloves. In 1984, he had a 21-game hitting streak.
"We have high expectations for this camp, and we have six good guys coming in," Wagner said. "The kids are going to learn a lot about baseball, and have a good time. It's going to be another great year."
Brown, a pitcher, and Larkin, a brother of Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, will be making their first appearance at the camp.