25 Dec

Marlins pitcher hits home with kids

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EL MONTE – Students at Monte Vista Elementary School have always been encouraged to dream. Last week, fourth- and fifth-graders from the El Monte school got to see dreams come to life when Ryan Tucker, a Florida Marlins pitcher, visited their class. “As far back as second grade, I knew I wanted to be a baseball player when I grew up,” Tucker, 18, told the students Tuesday. Earlier this year, the Temple City High School alumnus – a Class of 2005 graduate – was drafted as the 34th overall pick by the Marlins. The feat was a culmination of talent, dedication, a lot of practice and a habit of setting goals, Tucker said. “You have to know what you’re doing, and you have to want it,” the school’s dean of instruction, Roberto Lopez, told students before Tucker’s presentation. “It’s not only the arm, but also the mind and the heart (that got him there). Goal setting is very important.” Tucker later shared more about how he “became a fish,” detailing moments where he chipped away at his goals throughout his childhood and teenage years. He noted a slew of baseball camps, Little League participation and meetings with some of his baseball heroes – Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr., and Greg and Mike Maddux – but continuously reverted to sticking to his aspirations. Tucker also gave tips on pursuing a dream: set long- and short-term goals; work hard in school; choose your friends wisely; listen to your parents; and never give up. “There will always be people out there that will say, `You can’t do it,’ ” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a baseball player, and I believed in it so strongly, there was nothing that was going to stop me.” Yessenia Valdez, 9, said she was motivated by Tucker’s speech. Valdez said she wants to “help people that are sick so they don’t contaminate other people with their germs.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2303last_img
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