Former big-leaguer focused on polishing Dayton Dodgers

Jeff Reboulet File

  • Age: 45
  • Home: Sugar Creek Twp.
  • Current baseball status: Director of coaching for Dayton Dodgers youth baseball organization.
  • Baseball pedigree: 1982 graduate Alter High School; played two years of junior college ball in Illinois; transferred to LSU where he hit .318 over two seasons; Played in 1986 College World Series; 10th-round draft choice of Minnesota Twins in 1986; played in major leagues from 1992-2003; utility infielder with the Minnesota (five years) Baltimore (three years), Los Angeles (two years), Kansas City and Pittsburgh (one year each).
  • Best year in bigs: .292 in 1995, career .241 hitter
  • Stat of note: Only 21 errors in 1,009 Major League games
  • Career moment: Hit solo homer off Randy Johnson (then with Seattle) in 1997 American League Division playoffs while with Baltimore.

SUGARCREEK TWP., Greene County — Jeff Reboulet learned a lot about baseball during his 12 years in the major leagues.

Now Reboulet wants to pass on the knowledge he gained with the Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Sugarcreek Twp. resident has become heavily involved with the Dayton Dodgers youth baseball organization. The group has no affiliation with the old Dayton Dodgers AA team in the Dayton Amateur Baseball program in the 1970s and ’80s.

“I remember the old Dodgers growing up. Those guys could play,” the 1982 Alter High School graduate said. “We’re different, but we have one thing on common. We still want to play the game the right way.”

Reboulet always called the Dayton area home in the off-season, building a house outside of Bellbrook. In those off-seasons he also became involved with Horizon Wealth Management, a company started by one of his former LSU teammates. He now is a senior financial adviser for the company based in Baton Rouge, La.

“A lot of our clients are professional athletes,” he said. “We help them manage their current assets and help them become wise enough financially to make decisions which will serve them and their families in the future.”

His success in money matters has earned him one of eight spots former players have on Major League Baseball’s Rookie Financial Advisory Board.

“I love to teach and help young players, whether it’s about the fundamentals and the right way to play the game or making the money they’ll earn now work for them for the rest of their lives,” he said.

Reboulet has three boys playing baseball — Jason, 16; Zack, 14; and Lucas, 10. He began coaching Jason in coach-pitch and has been with him through the various age-group programs.

“The Dayton area has some real good youth baseball organizations, but not many which offer teams for all the age groups,” Reboulet said. “A lot of them are parent-driven certain ages and then they drop off.”

So two years ago he helped build the infrastructure for a program for players ages 10-18. That included coaches who are necessarily parents, year-round training and schedules designed to help players develop at a moderate pace.

“I don’t believe in playing kids in 100 games over two months in the summer so they get burned out by the time they’re 16 and hate baseball,” he said. “We want to get kids in the program and bring them along so by the time they get to our 17- and 18-year-old teams they are solid in the fundamentals, handle themselves correctly on and off the field, wear the uniform the right way and hustle all the time. A lot of parents and players from the Dayton area think they have to go to Cincinnati to find that. We want to keep them right here.”

This has been the first season that the Dodgers organization has fielded teams in most age groups. Reboulet has the 16-year-old team.

“It’s not so much about winning, but getting better every game,” he said. “The summer between a player’s junior and senior year in school is the most important.

“That’s when the pro and college scouts look for players they think are prospects. Part of our job is to get guys at his age group ready for that summer.”

The 16-year-old roster includes Adam Adkins, Pete Ballard, Matt Diehl, Brian Price, Jason Reboulet, Ted Link and John DeRoo, Alter High School; Kevin Seals from Carroll; Ryan Carter from Belmont; and Nick Livingston, Chris Donese, Charlie Jones and Matt Goodpaster from Fairmont.

Part of Reboulet’s coaching staff includes his father, Jim.

“I think we’ve got the makings of a nice program,” Reboulet said.