MERRILLVILLE | During the winter break, Chase Fieldhouse patronized the business of one of his former coaches.
"One day, I came in here to hit," said Fieldhouse, a star outfielder from Lake Central's first state champion baseball team of last spring.
Fieldhouse is continuing his career at Kaskaskia College located in southern Illinois. In order to get some swings during the holidays, he dropped by Indiana Elite Baseball and Softball Facility in Merrillville, owned by Schererville police officer and L.C. junior varsity coach Jeff Myszak.
"That's when I found out about this," Fieldhouse said of the Toy Drive Defensive Clinic the facility held on Dec. 22. "(Myszak) asked me if I wanted to be a part of it, and I said 'yes.'"
Ryan Pachowicz, another member of the Indians championship team, also volunteered as one of the clinic's instructors.
"I'm going to Purdue, but I'm not playing college ball," Pachowicz said. "Maybe intramurals or something like that.
"Even if I never do play (organized) baseball again, last season was unforgettable."
The idea for the clinic was hatched when Myszak checked his email and came across a plea from a fellow police officer.
"He was from Chicago ... I didn't know him, but he was reaching out to other officers," Myszak said. "He said that a 9-year-old boy was collecting toys to give to patients at the University of Chicago Children's Hospital.
"I just thought that was an incredible gesture, especially from a kid that age. So we decided to hold a camp to help with the collection."
The price of the defensive clinic was halved when a toy of at least $5 in value was donated.
"We managed to get a good turnout for this one, our first," Myszak said. "We plan to do something like this every year."