A day at the baseball park with Homer, a delightful baseball character, helps your child learn about healthy choices in life (eat right, exercise, stay in school) while also giving you baseball tips from professional baseball players. Your child can be a member of the S.T.R.I.K.E. force today by learning all about Homer's messages. "Be a Slugger, Hit a Home Run Against Drugs!"
"Homer and Me"
was created especially for
James Michael Smith
at the age of 7
With Love From Your Sister,
May 8, 2002
Dear Jimmy, Hello! My name is Homer. I have created "The S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE" and invite you to join our team!
Every member of the S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE has a mission: to hit a "Home Run Against Drugs." A home run in the game of baseball happens when the batter can go around all of the bases and score at home plate during a single play. They call me "Homer" because I help many children, just like you, to get around the bases and all the way to home plate. You will learn some very important lessons in this book.
Please read and enjoy your very own personalized book, which will take you on a storybook tour of a big league baseball game.
I play baseball, so I have included some great tips to help you become a better baseball player! In addition, we have included some lessons to help you become a healthy and successful adult.
I hope you enjoy your personalized copy of Homer and Me! Until next time, remember... Be A Slugger... Hit A Home Run Against Drugs!
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Today, Homer couldn't wait for practice to end. He was heading to Chicago to meet Jimmy and Larry. The bus, called the Home Run Express, was already running when he walked out to the parking lot. "Boy, I hope that Jimmy is as excited as I am!" thought Homer. "We are going to a big league game together. It's going to be fun!"
Baseball Tip #1: It is important to stretch slowly before you practice or play. Give your muscles a chance to warm up, so you don't get hurt!.
Homer was excited as he pulled up to the house where Jimmy was waiting. Jimmy wasn't alone. In fact, half of the neighborhood was there to meet Homer. "This is my friend, Larry," said Jimmy.
"That's great," Homer said, "the more the merrier!"
After Homer met everyone, Jimmy and Larry got on the Home Run Express together.
"We'll see you after the game," said Jimmy. "Look for us on TV!"
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson One: You are important! There is only one person like you. You are special! Always do your best and feel good about yourself.
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After everyone had buckled up, Jimmy asked, "Homer, what are all of these posters on the wall of your bus?"
"I'm glad you noticed," Homer replied. "These are posters of my program 'Hit A Home Run Against Drugs.' They help to remind kids to stay away from things that can keep them from reaching their goals."
"What kind of things?" asked Jimmy.
"Bad things, like drugs that can hurt your body," replied Homer. "My goal is to help you make good choices and stay drug-free!"
Baseball Tip #2: When you start to play catch, start slowly. It's not about how hard you can throw, but it's about getting your arm loose. .
During the bus ride, Homer and the children shared baseball stories. Some of the children told Homer they had already played on a baseball team. Suddenly, Woodie, the driver, announced over the speaker, "Homer, we are at the stadium!"
"Hooray!" yelled Jimmy and Larry, "Let's go!"
As they walked closer, Jimmy was amazed at the size of the stadium. "I never realized it was so BIG!" said Jimmy.
"WOW!" said Larry. "Now this is a ball park!"
"It sure is," said Homer. "It's a great place to work too! It takes a lot of people to put on a baseball game."
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson Two: A goal is something that you want to achieve. It is important to set a goal. It will help you to make good choices in your life and to be the best you can be.
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At the stadium, a nice lady named Beth met them at the gate. "Hello Homer," she said. "Who are your friends?"
"This is Jimmy and Larry, and they are my special guests today," said Homer.
"Nice to meet you," said Beth. "You're in for a special treat today." Then she gave everyone a colorful pass to wear around their necks. "This will allow you to visit special places in our stadium," she said.
"And meet special people too," said Homer. Everyone thanked Beth as they walked into the stadium.
"Have a good time!" she said.
"We will," replied Jimmy, as they headed towards the field.
Baseball Tip #3: The secret to being a good hitter is to be comfortable. What works for you is what you should do. Also, keep your eye on the ball. You can't hit what you can't see!.
The kids were amazed at how perfect the baseball field looked. "Now that is the nicest baseball field I have ever seen!" said Jimmy.
"The people who work on the field do a good job," said Homer. "They are called groundskeepers, and you will see them run out on the field and smooth things out during the game. Would you like to go down on the field?" asked Homer.
"Sure!" said Jimmy.
"To the field we go!" said Homer.
As they walked towards the field, another security officer asked to see the special pass the lady had given them.
"Watch out for flying baseballs," he said, "and have fun!"
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson 3: Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods and exercise. This helps you to grow strong and healthy like HOMER!
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It was still a long while before the start of the game, but fans were already filling the stadium seats. The players from both teams were in their uniforms and warming up for today's game.
"Batting practice starts in five minutes," said Homer.
"That will be fun to watch," said Jimmy.
Once the players started hitting, they noticed a few baseballs were flying over the outfield fence.
"That one went a long way," said Jimmy. "Maybe one day I can hit one that far!"
"Sure you can," said Homer. "If you practice and take good care of yourself, you can do anything!"
Baseball Tip #4: Hustle! Hustling is playing hard, running fast, and giving your best every time you play. Baseball's All-Time Hits Leader, Pete Rose, was nicknamed "Charlie Hustle"!.
Just then, one of the players walked over and asked Homer if he would like to visit the players' clubhouse.
"My friend, Tommy, would like to take you on a tour of the clubhouse, Jimmy. Would you like to go?"
"Sure we would!" said Jimmy. "My goal is to be a ball player one day! So if I'm going to be a big league player, I need to see the clubhouse." Off they went!
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson 4: Stay away from things that can hurt your body. Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco are not good for you. Remember...it's your body, and it's your choice.
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"The clubhouse is where we get ready for the game," said Tommy. "We have healthy foods to eat, we stretch, and we go over our line up for the game."
"Boy, I wish we had a clubhouse," said Jimmy. After the clubhouse tour, Homer, Jimmy, and Larry thanked Tommy for his time.
"May I have your autograph?" asked Jimmy.
"Sure!" said Tommy as he grabbed two baseballs. "Here's an autographed baseball for your friend too."
"Thanks, and have a good game!" said Jimmy as they headed to their seats.
"Hey, I see you have some signed baseballs!" said Homer. "Did you hear what he said about healthy foods? That means no bad drugs or alcohol either."
Baseball Tip #5: Be a team player! If someone has a rough game, let him or her know it's okay. Everyone should play hard and do his or her best. Remember...there's no "I" in "Team"..
Now the game was on. Bottom of the first, a single, a bunt, a pop fly out, and double play on a grounder to the short stop.
Jimmy and Larry enjoyed a hot dogs and some peanuts. "Wow, this is exciting!" said Jimmy.
Between innings, Homer would go onto the field and entertain the fans. He sure knew how to make the crowd laugh! During the game, Homer also autographed baseballs for all of the kids he met.
As the game continued, there were more exciting plays. A single, a triple, and all of a sudden it was a tie score at the bottom of the ninth and final inning.
Finally, Tommy came up to bat. He smacked a home run to win the game!
"Homer sure is fun to be with," said Larry.
"He sure is!" said Jimmy. "I am having a great time!"
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson 5: Make the right choice. Remember, it's your body...it's your choice! You can say "No" if you know something is wrong or can hurt you. Always do what's best for you.
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After the game, everyone stepped back into the Home Run Express for the ride home. "What a great game," said Jimmy. "Thanks, Homer."
"You're welcome!" Homer replied. "Every player you saw today was in top shape and played a great game. Our favorite team won today, but they would not have won if all of the players had gotten dizzy and sick from unhealthy habits. These players know that drugs are bad and they have the right to say "no" to taking them. They made the right choice!"
Baseball Tip #6: Talk to your teammates. Call the ball! Saying "I got it" lets your teammates know that you can make the play. It also keeps you from running into each other..
As the bus pulled back into the neighborhood, everyone was waving and cheering. They were excited! As the doors opened, everyone had a question for Jimmy. "Did you have fun?" "Did you get a hotdog?" "Did you get an autograph?"
"Yes, Yes, and Yes!" replied Jimmy. "We have a surprise for you. You all get to go inside the Home Run Express and get your own Home Run Against Drug stickers. Don't forget to look at all of the cool posters!"
"Some people weren't able to go on this trip or be at the ball game today, because they lost their freedom," said Homer. "Their bad habits with drugs got them into trouble. I was so proud that all of you could make the trip!"
S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE Lesson 6: When you make bad choices, bad things can happen. Don't break the law. Staying away from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco is a good choice, and it's the right choice.
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Jimmy now realized it was time for Homer to say good-bye. "I hope you had a good time and learned a lot today, Jimmy," said Homer.
"I did. Thank you for everything," replied Jimmy.
"Remember," said Homer, "take care of yourself, work hard, and stay healthy. Then one day, maybe you can be in the Big Leagues!" Jimmy, Homer, and Larry had spent a great day together. They had learned about baseball. They had made some new friends. They also had learned how important it is to follow all the advice from the S.T.R.I.K.E. FORCE.
As Homer stepped onto the bus, he turned, waved good-bye, and said, "Thanks for a great day Jimmy, and remember...
Be A Slugger...Hit A Home Run Against Drugs!"
Baseball Tip #7: Have Fun! Playing sports is supposed to be fun. Practice hard, do your best, and you will always be a true winner!.