Second graders at Steadley Elementary School in Carthage got the chance to be sports reporters for a while and interview a Major League Baseball player.
Steadley Second Grader Landon Brown introduced his uncle, Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Scott Elbert, a Seneca High School graduate, to his classmates and the students got to ask more than a dozen questions during an assembly on Tuesday.
Elbert joined the students from his home in Surprise, Ariz., via the Internet video conferencing system Skype.
“This has to be tops on my list,” Elbert said after the assembly when asked if this was one of the most unique interviews he had ever gone through.
“It was fun for me because you never know what a little kid is going to ask,” Elbert said. “I actually told my sister, (Mandy Brown, Landon’s mom) can you give me a list of some questions they are going to be asking just so I can be prepared? To be honest it would have been a lot more fun to do without being prepared because you kind of anticipate instead of just kind of going with it.”
Kathy Bastin, Landon’s second grade teacher, said the students came up with the questions and the teachers tweaked them a bit so Elbert could give more detailed answers.
Elbert’s mom, Tracie Elbert, a Seneca schoolteacher, was also on hand for the interview and liked how it went.
“I’m glad I got to enjoy it with them,” Tracie Elbert said. “The kids did real well, they had good questions.”
Scott Elbert said the Skype interview was fun, but not as much fun as being there in person.
“It would be more fun for them coming up to me or me standing in front of them because there would be a lot more to talk about,” Elbert said. But I understand they’ve got to get back to class and everything like that. That’s part of the benefit of being there. You can’t catch that excitement; you just get to see one kid at a time. Being there, you get to see the whole group and look around, so maybe one time I can come back and talk and be there for real.”
Here is a sample of the questions the Steadley Elementary second graders asked big-league pitcher Scott Elbert during their Skype interview with him on Tuesday.
Q: “How long do you hope to play professional ball and what do you plan to do after?”
Elbert: “To be honest with you, I want to play until you take the jersey off of me. Whenever I first got drafted I set a goal for myself that I wanted to be retired by the age of 35. Well, at 35, I’ve still got a lot of life to live where I’m going to be sitting at home a long time so I’m going to play until they take the uniform off me and whenever I’m done, we’ll see what happens then.”
Page 2 of 2 - Q: “Will you ever move back to Missouri?”
Elbert: “I don’t know, we’ll see what happens later on. I know there’s a lot of people that would like for me and my family to move back there so they could see me every day so we’ll see, we’ll play it by ear. It’s a great place, I love it there, but I live in Arizona where it’s hot all year around. This Christmas it was 78 degrees so I’m not a fan of cold weather. I’m actually a wimp when it comes to cold weather. So we’ll see, I might surprise you guys some day and come back and live for a few years and then just move around.”
Q:“What advice can you give a kid who wants to play professional sports?”
Elbert: “That’s a good question. My most important advice that I like to give little kids is, no matter what the profession is or it doesn’t even have to be a sport, you can be a doctor, you can be a dentist, you can be a factory worker, because everybody has a profession out there and you have to perfect it to the full ability you have. The only advice I would give you is choose what you want to do and go as hard as you can because you never know what’s going to happen.
“You might see one person who likes you and that person will be by your side for the rest of your career, whatever you decide to do, so with that being said, choose something and go for it 100 percent because you’ve got to make the best of it and that way you can’t look at it going I wish I would have done that or second guess yourself. That’s pretty good advice to keep with you. Whatever you decide to do, do it 100 percent.”