Andrew Albers, the first Saskatchewan athlete to play in Major League Baseball in 21 years when he pitched for the Minnesota Twins in 2013, is touring schools in his home province to tell youngsters about the value of hard work and pursuing dreams.
"It's been really good," Albers said following visits with students from two schools in Regina Tuesday. "We're really just out here to have a little fun."
'It's not always going to be easy, but you can do it.' - Andrew Albers
Mixed in with the fun and baseball tips, Albers told students about his dream to play professionally.
"The message here is to believe in yourself and go after your dreams," he said.
He quickly added that hard work plays a major role in achieving difficult goals.
"Sometimes that takes a lot of hard work and a lot of perseverance," he said. "It's not always going to be easy, but you can do it."
Albers, 28, also spoke about some of the setbacks he encountered before realizing his dream pitching for the Minnesota Twins.
"My road to the bigs hasn't been very easy," he said. "I went through surgery, got released by the Padres, had many, many teams tell me I wasn't good enough - they passed on me. And luckily I caught one break. There was one team that liked me enough to give me an opportunity."
He said he is looking forward to a new adventure playing baseball in South Korea.
Albers is visiting schools for a series of Dream and Believe Camps sponsored by the Saskatoon-based mining company Cameco.
The company is also providing the schools with 30 sets of baseball and softball equipment.
Albers, from North Battleford, is just the eighth Saskatchewan native to play in Major League Baseball.