Baseball player Josh Naylor a “home run” with Stella Maris students

 

Team Canada National Junior Team and Ontario Blue Jays baseball player Josh Naylor speaks to students at Stella Maris Catholic School. (RTT Photo by Adam D'Andrea)

Team Canada National Junior Team and Ontario Blue Jays baseball player Josh Naylor speaks to students at Stella Maris Catholic School. (RTT Photo by Adam D’Andrea)

By Adam D’Andrea

 

Respect, hard work, education and baseball were the topics of discussion at Stella Maris Catholic School last Friday.

Team Canada National Junior Team and Ontario Blue Jays player Josh Naylor stopped by the school as part of Catholic Education Week. Naylor, 16, is from Mississauga and has competed worldwide. This includes the 2012 and 2013 International Power Showcase in Miami where he was presented with the Spirit of Babe Ruth award last January.

After receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the students, Naylor talked about the highlights of his baseball career including winning the 2010 Ontario Baseball Youth Player of the Year award and being selected to play for the Team Canada National Junior Team.

“For a rare moment, my mom was at a loss for words. And my father, who prides himself as a flawless driver, tells me that he nearly drove off the road upon hearing this news,” said Naylor jokingly. “Playing for Team Canada and representing your country is an unbelievable experience.”

But Naylor had a lot more to talk about than just baseball. He stressed the importance of a good education to the students and said even with a hectic schedule putting his schoolwork on the backburner is not an option.

“I have to keep up my grades not only because my parents tell me to, but because in addition to my professional baseball career one day I have plans to go to college or university,” said Naylor. “Balancing school and everything else in my life isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.”

Naylor also told the students that although everyone has bad days once in awhile, it’s crucial to maintain good character and learn from mistakes.

“After a bad game, the easiest thing to do is throw something or yell at a teammate. But it’s not the right thing to do because a quick reaction could cost you a friendship and earn you a bad reputation,” said Naylor. “In baseball, failing 70 per cent of the time is common and I’ve had my share of failure in my life. Learning how to deal with failure will only make you a better player and a better person.”

Naylor finished off his discussion by telling the students that in order to achieve their goals they need to pursue their passions and work hard through the thick and the thin. As a show of gratitude to the school, Naylor raffled off signed baseball hats to two lucky students at the end of the assembly.

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