Rangers manager visits Neal schools
Buck Showalter told the students of W.S. Neal Elementary and Middle School they not only need to set goals in life, but they also need to have a backup plan.
The Texas Rangers manager and 2004 American League Manager of the Year was a special guest at both sites Thursday.
Showalter, a Century (Fla.) native and current Gulf Breeze (Fla.) resident was referring to sister Marina Chancery, a counselor at W.S. Neal Elementary.
Showalter asked both student bodies how many of them had aspirations of being a professional athlete and both times he got a large "yes" response.
Showalter, who has also managed the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees and served as an analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, quickly brought up the statistical fact.
Showalter also emphasized kids today should not be forced to specialize in one sport while growing up.
Showalter said even though a lot of kids start playing baseball when they are about seven to eight years old, most professional baseball players do not become serious players until they are about 14 to 15 years old.
Showalter emphasized the students to have a positive attitude in life.
Showalter said people have to go through bad times to appreciate the good times. He also said being involved in professional baseball is not all fun and games.