Giants Legend Jeffrey Leonard Teaches Baseball to Local Players

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FOLSOM -- Giants fans will remember the name Jeffrey Leonard.

“Hac-Man” played 14 big league seasons, half of those in San Francisco where he was a two-time all-star.

At age 63, he has taken on his next assignment in life by teaching baseball through his competitive program for teenagers that is still in its first year. It is appropriately called Hac-Man Baseball.

“I just thought about my father. I'm just following in his footsteps, you know,” Leonard told FOX40. “He was a coach and a teacher. He brought me through, so I'm kind of living it all over again.”

Leonard spent seven seasons with the Giants in the 1980s, even taking home the League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award in 1987.

But the players he recruits today usually don't have any idea about his past when he calls.

“I honestly didn't know who Jeffery Leonard was, honestly. My dad was like, ‘You don't know who this guy is?’ I was like, ‘No!’” said player Diego Moreno.

“I like to take a guy who wants to learn something, who has the passion and desire to get better,” Leonard said. “That's where I come in. The only people who are getting paid to win are professionals, so we're here to learn.”

He oversees two teams and is constantly looking for the best opportunities to get his players ready for the next level, like this weekend's Five Tool tournament.

“It's not about me. It's all about them and what I can install into their lives and change their lives, and just make them happy in baseball,” Leonard said.

“You know, it's fun to go out there and see a guy who played a long time in the big leagues helping coach the youth,” said tournament director Ken Jacome.

“He gives us situations that we need to work on,” Moreno said. “No other coach never really talks about that. He tells you what your approach is every single time, what's your game plan every single pitch.

Hac-Man Baseball is going to expand soon from two to four teams. So, if you're a competitive player who is 13, 14, 16 or 18 years old, tryouts are being held on Sunday, Aug. 4, at William Keating Park in Vacaville.

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