Cardinals' Bader surprises 3rd-grade students as fill-in gym teacher

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Major League Baseball players are already looking for side gigs amid the lockout.

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader stepped in Friday as a supply teacher at Meramec Elementary in Clayton, Missouri, for the school's third-grade gym class.

While the Gold Glove winner is certainly recognizable on the field, the students initially had trouble identifying Bader.

"We introduced him as a sub, or a guest teacher, and so they were all like wearing masks and he didn't have a uniform," school principal Patrick Fisher said, according to Holden Kurwicki of KSDK. "It was like, 'Wait a second, who is this? What's going on?'"

Once the students knew who Bader was, instead of asking him about baseball, they opted to show him a game they'd invented. While the 27-year-old said he didn't have much success at it, he was happy he only had to teach physical education.

"Being a substitute science or math teacher, even at that level, would be above my pay grade," Bader said.

As for whether teaching could serve as Bader's replacement gig if the MLB lockout jeopardizes regular-season play, he wasn't so sure.

"Definitely not going to have a career change," Bader added. "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."

Bader has spent all five of his big-league seasons with the Cardinals. He broke into the majors in 2017 and earned down-ballot NL Rookie of the Year votes the following campaign. Bader hit .267/.324/.460 with 16 homers and nine steals last year, earning his first Gold Glove for his efforts in center field.

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Cardinals' Bader surprises 3rd-grade students as fill-in gym teacher
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