Archer sends positive message to RBI kids

All-Star righty stresses importance of education, doing right thing

Archer sends positive message to RBI kids

PHILADELPHIA -- Chris Archer embraces the title of "nerd" he was given when he was younger.

But by "younger," Archer doesn't necessarily mean as a child. That was the moniker he was labeled with up to the point when the Rays called him up to play in the Majors. Archer has always liked to read, a preference that struck many of his Minor League and early Major League teammates as atypical and bizarre. But, when speaking to a group of Philadelphia-based RBI Baseball kids Tuesday, Archer used this anecdote as his message.

"Whenever I was in the Minor Leagues and early in Major League Baseball, people would call me a nerd, not in a bad way, but just because I was doing something different," Archer said. "But I never let things like that bother me because it was who I was and it was something positive."

The 26-year-old All-Star spoke to a room filled with children and their parents between team stretching and Tuesday's game vs. the Phillies. The main nugget of wisdom Archer wanted to impart upon the children was the value of being unique. In Archer's opinion, all of his success has come from the choices he made to work hard and to not be influenced by the choices of the masses.

"There's so many opportunities and possibilities out there for you guys, but you have to be willing to be different, to be made fun of sometimes for making the right choice, for saying 'No' when all of your friends are saying 'Yes,'" Archer said. "Be that person who is positively peer pressuring other people to do the right thing."

After disseminating his message, Archer opened up the discussion for children and their parents to ask him whatever was on their minds. Through this process, Archer divulged many of the instances in his past that brought him to become the man he is today, from discussing the importance of being adopted at a young age to analyzing why he was cut from his middle school baseball team.

Other than that, Archer said he wanted the kids to do two things: find their talents and do whatever they can to foster those talents into a future.

"When you're 13, 14, 15, if you know what you want to be is a counselor in school, go ahead and get on that path," Archer said. "Once you get to high school, education is so vital, so important. Not everybody is a straight-A student, but A's and B's can take you a long way in this world and you can change the shape of your whole reality and your family's reality."

Nick Suss is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.