CARLSBAD – San Diego Padres’ third baseman Chase Headley read to Kathleen Gilmore’s 4th and 5th grade combo class at Aviara Oaks Elementary School in Carlsbad June 1. The class earned the opportunity to visit and speak with Headley after winning the “Read with a Pro” contest sponsored by Mission Federal Credit Union, San Diego County Office of Education and XX 1090 Sports Radio.
The class read 10,641 books during the month-long contest that began April 15. Fourth grade students Elisse Chow and Bryce Hayashida were also announced as the winners of the reading contest, having read 1,080 chapters and 921 chapters respectively.
Before reading “The Giving Tree,” Headley answered several questions from the students, including what motivates him to play baseball. “It’s about having fun,” Headley said. “It’s a game, and I think if you have fun and you work hard, anything can happen.”
When he was growing up, Headley said that he didn’t think he would be able to play baseball for a living and took his schooling very seriously. “I think I’ve learned a lot about work ethic and dedication through school. I think it’s really important to give your all in whatever you’re doing and make sure you take school seriously, because it’s the most important thing you can do.”
Headley was his high school’s valedictorian in Fountain, Colo.
The contest also set a record throughout the county with 117,900 books read.