A group of kids from the Boys & Girls Club got a rare treat on Tuesday – the chance to play on the grass at Safeco Field with Robinson Canó.
The kids from Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club and Seattle Reviving Baseball in Innercities (RBI) program were invited to take part in the annual PLAY campaign designed to help kids establish healthy exercise and eating habits early in life.
PLAY stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth. It’s a national public awareness campaign sponsored by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS), the Taylor Hooton Foundation and MLB Charities.
Canó was joined by teammates Charlie Furbush, Mark Lowe, James Paxton and Chris Taylor as well as members of the Mariners training staff to deliver a message about the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle, as well as making good decisions about things such as performance enhancing drugs.
Mark Lowe, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes in his early 20s, told the kids that he didn’t let his medical condition prevent him from achieving his dream of becoming a Major League pitcher. Lowe, who has been managing his condition for the past 10-years, told the kids that they too can overcome obstacles if they stay positive.
The kids also got some good advice about steroids and performance enhancing drugs from Brian Parker of the Taylor Hooten Foundation. Hooton was a high school baseball player in Texas who took steroids to get bigger and stronger. Parker explained to the kids that although steroids can be therapeutic if you are sick, they can also have harmful effects on young, healthy bodies. He said steroids make all your muscles grow bigger, including the heart, which is dangerous. In addition, he said, performance enhancing drugs are illegal and they’re cheating.
After the presentations, the players were joined on field by three members of the Mariners training staff, Rick Griffin, Rob Nodine and Matt Thoth, who led the kids through a series of exercises – stretches and warmups, sprints and agility drills.