Mariners make the most of story time in Radford
RADFORD — It’s not all that common for a professional baseball player to get upstaged, but when the musical instruments came out at Radford Public Library Tuesday, the special guest Pulaski Mariners took a back seat to maracas, egg shakers, and bells handled by about 30 children.
The four ball players rebounded, however, with strong performances during “Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” and their Spanish reading of “Goodnight Moon.”
The visit was the final of four players from the minor league baseball team have made to local libraries this summer, reading to children in both Spanish and English.
Tuesday’s visit featured four players from the Dominican Republic, which Radford Public Library Youth Services Coordinator Jaime Duval said was a great way to introduce children to a new language and a hidden culture in the area.
“We live in a really small town. You’d never know we have Dominican and South American people around,” Duval said.
She described her own experience learning of the widely diverse baseball team — which maintains a current roster of 15 foreign players — as “very eye-opening” and was excited to share that experience with the young crowd of mostly children ages 5 and younger.
While Duval’s goal was to enhance the children’s experience, Pulaski general manager Abby Lyman said she believes the experience is also good for the players, bringing balance to their lives, which are otherwise almost completely consumed with baseball.
In that spirit, Tuesday morning’s activities didn’t test the players’ baseball skills, but instead put their artistic abilities to work with the day’s craft — paper lunch bag owls.
Players Rigoberto Garcia, Martin Peguero and Phillips Castillo were quick to use the glue sticks and began helping children with the craft, while Jochi Ogando opted to play the role of cellphone photographer for his teammates.
Lily Hyatt, who was a little over a week away from turning 3-years-old, said she enjoyed making the craft alongside the players, but was very honest when asked if they actually had helped her.
“No. Mom did,” Lily said.
Despite the players lack of helping her, Lily was more than happy to pose for a picture with her fellow craft makers, an interaction which illustrated Castillo’s favorite part of the experience.
“The funnest part was sharing time with kids,” Castillo said, through Lyman’s translation.
The Roanoke Times | 381-1643
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