Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Collecting Baseball Cards...for the kids

In my real life I am the principal of Trinity Lutheran School in Sturgis, Michigan. Our school is on the small side, with only 105 students in grades K-8, so in addition to my administrative role, I also spend about half the day in the classroom. This year I have the fourth grade.

In reading class, our theme for the week is "Creative Solutions." The read-aloud story was about Dummy Hoy, a major leaguer in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who was deaf. Some credit him for the umpire hand signals for safe and out.

This card of Dummy Hoy is not in my collection. Lutheran school teachers aren't paid quite enough to purchase one of these.

I was pretty sure there were other deaf players and so after some digging around I found...

Topps 1997 #376 Curtis Pride.

Here is a closeup of his face, and if you look carefully you can see a hearing aid in his ear.

Curtis Pride, who is 95% deaf, played in a total of 421 games between 1993 and 2006. He is currently the head baseball coach at Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. (a university for the deaf which recently renamed their baseball field William "Dummy" Hoy Baseball Field). I brought the card to class to show the kids a modern version of Dummy Hoy.

In social studies they are learning the 50 states. Each day they have a sheet with things to color like the state bird and the state flag. So of course, I had to bring in the Allen and Ginter 2008 state collection, complete with a picture of the state flag. In their free time the kids can take the binder and look through the 50 states.

Here are a few random States cards. There were no Cubs included in the set, so here are Griffey, Pennsylvania, and Buck, Wyoming

Who knew that baseball cards could be educational. I guess I owe it to my students to purchase as many baseball cards as I can -- to help further their education, of course. It's the least I can do for them!

The cards can be considered education supplies that I can take as a tax deduction. Again, though, it's not any thing for my own personal gain, I'm doing it.... for the kids!


  1. I agree, cards can be very eduactional. When I taught HS math I used the "stats on the back" in many different lesson plans. We also talked about history, when teams moved from city to city (yes that is called cross-curriculum). Baseball, the game itself and the cards, can be very worthwhile in the classroom, for many ages.
    Nice research on Hoy and Pride !

  2. Yes, it's for the kids, for the kids.

    If I was a teacher and brought in those A&G state cards, I'd have to tell the kids there are only 42 states, because I still NEED EIGHT to complete the set. (seven of them are on the way though!)