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Cardinals outfielder fills in as substitute P.E. teacher

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:38 PM CST
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CLAYTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Students at a Missouri elementary school got a big league surprise.

When a substitute teacher for P.E. was needed, a Gold Glove outfielder from the St. Louis Cardinals soared into the classroom.

Like many schools across the country, the start of the second semester has been a bit of a struggle at Meramec Elementary in Clayton.

“Last week was a challenge,” said Principal Patrick Fisher. “Mostly, we had a lot of kids out, but it’s also the staffing perspective. I think sometimes that’s a big part that gets overlooked.”

When Principal Fisher needed someone to pinch hit for P.E., he was able to find an All-Star sub to cover all the bases.

“You know, being a substitute science or math teacher, event at that level, would be above my pay grade,” said Harrison Bader, centerfielder for the Cardinals.

“Yeah, we introduced him as a sub, or a guest teacher, and so they were all like wearing masks and he doesn’t have a uniform. It was like, wait a second, who is this,” said Principal Fisher.

The man behind that mask was none other than the Gold Glove centerfielder Harrison Bader.

“It’s always so much fun engaging, you know, kids that age and seeing how their mind works and everything,” Bader said.

Instead of asking Bader about the game he plays for a living, the students at Meramec showed the Cardinals standout a game they created themselves.

“There wasn’t a hesitation from him, just hop right in and get in there and mix it with the kids,” Fisher said.

“In the game that they played, they had a lot more success than I did,” Bader explained. “I’ve had a lot more success on the field playing in front of St. Louis fans.”

While Bader may have better success on the baseball diamond, Fisher said he’s always welcome to rejoin the ranks of the Meramec faculty.

“It really is going to be one of those things our kids remember,” said Principal Fisher. “Whether it’s just remembering the memory, or a couple of the hats he might have signed for our students while he was there.”

Despite the current MLB lockout, Bader said he wasn’t planning on a temporary career change, but it was fun for a day.

“It was nice, though, to be in St. Louis and not have to worry about which righty throwing 100 was trying to take my lunch that day,” he said.

“If there are any substitute teacher openings, let me know,” he continued.

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