6/26/2014 4:08 P.M. ET
Dickey teaches students importance of healthy lifestyle
Right-hander visits Mother Teresa Elementary School with Jays at School program
By Jesse Cynamon / Special to MLB.com
TORONTO -- Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey, along with ACE -- the Blue Jays' mascot, visited Mother Teresa Elementary School on Monday. The Jays at School program focuses on keeping kids active and healthy eating, so Dickey visited the school with the intention of spreading this message to the over 400 students, who were in grades 1-8.
In the spirit of staying fit, the visit started off with J-FORCE teaching the students the seventh-inning stretch. The students caught on quickly, as did Dickey, who was excited to learn the stretch for the first time.
Dickey then went on to answer questions from the host of the visit. When asked what profession he would be in if he wasn't a baseball player, Dickey answered that he would love to be a teacher; he went on to explain the important role that teachers have played in his life and that he would not be where he is today without them.
Dickey also answered questions about dealing with stress and nerves, and he reminded the students, "Everybody has gifts … I find that I almost spend more time working on the things that I'm not as good at than I do the ones I am great at."
Dickey was able to show the students one of things he is "great at" when the school principal brought out a baseball for him to show the students how he throws his famous knuckleball.
When the students had a chance to ask questions, Dickey made sure to take the time to provide thoughtful answers and to carefully explain his reasons for those responses. A young student asked a notable question about what Dickey does to give back to those in need and how he is involved in community outreach. To this, Dickey responded by telling the students about his family's work in India, where he is involved with Bombay Teen Challenge.
Dickey wasn't the only one being asked the questions -- the host of the visit asked the students questions regarding healthy eating and the importance of an active lifestyle. The students did a great job of answering the questions, and Dickey even interjected at certain points to share his insight.
The students then had a chance to win some Blue Jays prizes by correctly answering baseball questions asked by Dickey himself. Dickey started with some easier questions like, "What color is the stitching on a baseball?" and moved on to more challenging questions like, "What does the 'DH' in DH position stand for?" Dickey even got the whole crowd laughing when he answered one of the host's questions, "How many strikes before you're out?" with "That's too easy. It's four, right?"
The visit came to an end with one last rendition of the seventh-inning stretch, and with Dickey presenting the school with an autographed jersey. The Blue Jays are committed to educating students through this program, and this school visit was a way for Dickey to effectively teach and have fun with the students at Mother Teresa School.
Jesse Cynamon is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.