Professional athletes are accustomed to making community appearances on behalf of their teams. Almost all of them recognize it as a task that comes with the territory of their chosen and often privileged profession. Many of them seem to like it. Some seem to hate it and can’t wait to leave.
But few seem as genuinely excited about a particular assignment as Twins pitcher Trevor May was about his appearance Tuesday at Best Buy’s Geek Squad Academy, a technology camp hosted at Washington Magnet School in St. Paul. The Twins approached him with the idea, and …
“When they said, ‘Best Buy Geek Squad,’ I said, ‘I’m in,’ ” May said. “When I was sent the information, I was like, ‘Wow, this is right up my alley.’ I was really excited to come out and see what they’re doing.”
What he saw was more than 100 local kids, many in middle school, working on various projects at different stations. Some were learning how to film a movie. Some were making songs. Some were learning about Internet safety with the purpose of making an antibullying public service announcement. Others were learning about electrical currents, robotics and designing houses.
For May, a self-described “geek” who loved math as a kid, it hit close to home. May, 25, was the valedictorian of his class at Kelso (Wash.) High and was interested in studying architecture at the University of Washington before being drafted by the Phillies and choosing instead to start a baseball career.
On Monday — a rare off day for the Twins — May said he spent much of his time working on digital music production, another of his off-field pursuits.
“I have a lot of experience in the things they’re teaching, and as my career progresses, I want to give back into the education and technology area of things,” May said. “It’s a huge part of our future as a country. It’s really awesome to see what they’re doing here.”
During the kids’ lunch break, each one had the chance to come up and meet May as well as get his autograph. One boy boldly approached him before the official start of the session, extended his hand and said, “You must be Trevor May,” eliciting a smile and sparking a conversation with the pitcher.
Another youngster complimented May on his Apple Watch, while still another asked the best question I heard all day: “Do you know where Torii Hunter’s house is?” (May did not know, though he did say he knows where Hunter’s locker is.)
All in a day’s work — done before the night’s work began.
“I’m more than happy to do as much as I can,” May said. “It’s good to have things that take your mind off [baseball] — hitting the reset button a little and being able to do something positive and support something positive.”