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MLB Star Fills in as PE Teacher for St. Louis Elementary School Facing Staff Shortage

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Students at a St. Louis-area elementary school had a gym lesson they'll never forget thanks to a local Major League Baseball star.

Harrison Bader, a centerfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, delighted students at Meramec Elementary School in Clayton, Missouri, when he tried his hand at substitute teaching last week.

Bader, 27, reportedly volunteered to help after learning that staff had been spread thin since the holiday break.

Harrison Bader
Harrison Bader

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

"Last week was a challenge," Meramec Elementary Principal Patrick Fisher told KSDK. "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."

Fortunately, Fisher had a Gold Glove winner waiting in the wings to cover a PE class.

"Being a substitute science or math teacher, even at that level, would be above my paygrade," Bader told the news station.

Instead of baseball, the students showed Bader a game they invented themselves.

"In the game that they played they had a lot more success than I did," he told KSDK said. "I've had a lot more success on the field playing in front of St. Louis fans."

Fisher said Bader's visit wasn't just about PE class. It was also a fun way to boost morale and make memories.

"It's been a bit of all-hands-on-deck, so when somebody like your local representative—or here in St. Louis, the Cardinals have a special place in the community—reach out to the schools, it really does make a big difference."

As for Bader, he said he's not considering a career change any time soon.

"Definitely not going to have a career change," he told KSDK. "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."

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