Blue Crabs players talk sports, life with children at library
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs players are accustomed to playing in the heat, but last Thursday, a few players were grilled with questions about their baseball careers by more than 30 children who live in and around Charles County.
On July 7, Blue Crabs catcher Norberto Susini and left-handed relief pitcher Robert Carson visited the P.D. Brown Memorial Library in Waldorf for an afternoon of baseball fun with local children.
The players discussed their baseball careers, what it takes to be a professional sports player and what inspires them. At the end of the program, the children were given baseball caps autographed by the players and vouchers to future Blue Crabs games.
“It’s great for local children to have us here so they can ask us questions,” Carson said. “This is my first community service event this year in Southern Maryland and I think we should do more of it because I love coming to events that have us dialoguing and inspiring children.”
Attendees asked about the players’ backgrounds, what they eat before games, their pitching and catching statistics, and the players’ favorite parts about playing the sport.
Carson and Susini both said they enjoyed the interaction with their fans while giving them hope to reach their own goals.
“I want them to understand the process of working hard,” Susini said. “In life, the harder you work, the more success you will have. We got good at baseball through a lot of practice and hard work. It’s not just about playing a sport and making it big, but there is a process to every career. Never cheat the process. Work hard and good things will happen.”
Before landing at the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, Susini played for the Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners. He told the children that there were times he wanted to give up and quit playing baseball, but knew he had to work harder to be a better player.
“It’s always good to interact with kids, build their self-esteem and build their confidence toward what they want to do, whether it’s baseball or not,” Susini said. “It’s always good for them to speak to somebody that’s doing what they see themselves doing in the future.”
Carson previously played for the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers before pitching for the Blue Crabs. He advised the children to always do well in school and, although they might get knocked down in life, they should never give up on their dreams.
Barbara Thorp, P.D. Brown Memorial Library children’s supervisor, was very impressed that the children had their questions ready and were so comfortable around the players. Many attendees gave the players fist bumps during the event, took photos with them and asked even more questions as the players autographed hats and baseballs.
“You always want to have positive role models that the kids can look up to,” Thorp said. “These gentlemen that visited the children were smart and fun and gave the children something to aspire to. The players talked about some things that the children could identify with, like going to school and working hard. They also shared common ground with children and were very good at interacting with them. The children asked a lot of questions and I know having the players here was special to them.”
The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs players will make several more appearances at local libraries throughout the summer.
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs players Norberto Susini and Robert Carson autograph a Blue Crabs baseball hat for Azariah Vinson, 5, a student at James Ryder Randell Elementary School in Clinton.