The Cardinals might not be having a whole lot of success on the field right now, but that’s not stopping them from making a positive impact off the field. Cardinal’s baseball has a strong connection with the community of St. Louis, and the bond between team and city is extremely important. To continue this tradition, Cards pitcher Kyle McClellan spoke to students at McCluer South-Berkeley High School about the importance of not using tobacco.
McClellan was joined by St. Louis Blues defenseman Barret Jackman as both delivered a tobacco-free message to thousands of students in attendance. McClellan, who was born and raised in Missouri and attended Hazelwood West High School, is a hometown guy who genuinely cares about sending the right message to the youth in the area. He may not be a big name of the national stage, but he is certainly someone that kids in St. Louis can look up to.
Here’s some of what he had to say to students:
St. Louis is where I grew up, it’s where I’ve made my home, and it’s a place I really care about. You may not realize it, but your choice not to use tobacco makes our community better. You have a very important part to play in keeping St. Louis strong, healthy, and tobacco-free.
The 27-year-old McClellan is in his fourth season with the St. Louis Cardinals. He began the year in the starting rotation but has since moved to the bullpen after the acquisition of Edwin Jackson. He has a career 3.54 ERA.
Whether you consider it a major problem or not, tobacco is very much a part of Major League Baseball. Dip and chew are present in almost every big league clubhouse and dugout, but if Bud Selig has his way, smokeless tobacco could soon become a thing of the past in MLB. It’s unhealthy, unnecessary, and most of all, it’s disgusting.
Stories like this don’t often get the attention they deserve, but I think the importance of pro athletes reaching out to our youth should never be underestimated.