Gose's latest role after callup: teacher
Blue Jay pairs up with nutritionist to help students learn healthy lifestyles
TORONTO -- Anthony Gose tries to live his life by a mantra that his friend and former coach once impressed upon him.
"If you can impact one person's life, you have a chance to impact the world," Gose said. "That's what a good friend of mine, Justin Mashore, told me. Ever since then, I've made a point to go out and talk with kids [and] hang out. As I said, you never know whose life you're going to impact."
That is why on Tuesday, only a day after being called back up to the Major Leagues, Gose was found at The York School in Toronto, along with professional nutritionist Jennifer Sygo, to teach two classes of grade four students about nutrition and healthy living.
Mashore, a former hitting coach with the Blue Jays and now with the Rangers' Class A-affiliated Hickory Crawdads, spent part of 2010 and 2011 coaching Gose in the Minor Leagues, spending time with him in Class A Dunedin and Double-A New Hampshire.
The two became close over those years, and it was then that Mashore made an impression on Gose, now just 22 years old.
"It went a long way with me," Gose said. "You never know whose life you're going to impact as you come and do things like this."
There was no denying the Blue Jay's appearance at the school made an influence.
"It's the end of the school year, so there's a lot of exciting things happening, but this was a big highlight," said Barb Prevedello, who, along with Shane Heyes, teaches the group of students visited by Gose.
The eager and energetic crowd of 8- and 9-year-olds was first given an interactive lesson on healthy snacks and the role of protein and carbohydrates before asking questions to the Blue Jays' most recent audition to the big club.
Although the Blue Jays have been doing similar events in the community for years, only in the last three have they focused on active living and healthy lifestyle for children. In the last two years, they have brought along a nutritionist (Sygo), allowing the kids to get the best of both worlds.
"[You] have a professional, who knows what the actual [nutritional] content should be, and then have the athlete that is sort of the embodiment of that, and everybody wins," said Sygo, a professional nutritionist for almost a decade.
The combination has helped push across the nutritional values and lessons that the Blue Jays are trying to help convey to the students.
"You can tell them things, but unless they see it out in the real world, that's when they're really going to synthesize it or take in what's going on," Prevedello said. "When they have a nutritionist coming in from a professional sports team to show that she's feeding her athletes the right thing, then they'll understand that. And they can take that with them. I think it adds value to the lesson that's being taught."
"As much as we want this to be a fun visit where they meet a Blue Jay, there's a real responsibility here to leave them with a few things," Sygo said.
"You want something that's quick but punchy, that has some staying power for them. And then they can take some of the things and apply them to real life, and I think that they got that today."
The biggest thing that Sygo looks for from the kids is attentiveness and engagement, preferably with "lots of hands going up" and "thoughtful answers;" both were in abundance Tuesday afternoon.
All the students interacted with both Sygo and Gose, having no problems volunteering answers and questions to the pair.
"I think kids are just excited to show what they know," Prevedello said.
For the children, who learned about the Blue Jays' coming visit a week ago, there was a long wait to show off their nutritional knowledge. Their excitement made things a little difficult for the teachers prior to the team's arrival.
"It was hard to teach math just prior to them coming because they were all checking out the hallways trying to figure out who was coming in," Prevedello said.
Once they did arrive -- and when the kids settled down slightly -- it made for an enjoyable, entertaining and educational experience.
"It was great," Gose said. "Two classes definitely had a lot of energy and made it fun. It made it easy to interact with the kids, and they had lots of questions. Definitely a great time."
Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.