Parent & Child: How did you come up with the idea for an instructional sports series for kids?
Brady Clark: When Bobby Barad, my close friend who developed the concept, initially brought the idea to me, I loved it and agreed there was nothing on the market like The Sportys. We had seen firsthand from our own children that kids absorb information and learn best when they are having fun and being entertained — essentially “learning by accident.” That’s the goal of The Sportys, to teach kids about sports in a way that really holds their interest. The Sportys is completely unique in that it helps educate kids and parents about sports and the game — rather than teaching them how to play — and it does so in a truly engaging way that speaks to them.
Evan Longoria: I heard about The Sportys and really thought it was a great way to help kids fall in love with sports and, in particular, baseball, which has done so much for me in so many ways. I left the production to the production pros, but could not be happier with the way it turned out.
P&C: What kind of impact do you hope this DVD will have on children?
Clark: My hope is that this DVD will give kids a better understanding and knowledge of playing baseball. With that understanding, our hope is that The Sportys will inspire kids to be more active, not just in baseball, but in whatever sport or activity interests or challenges them.
P&C: The Sportys has many colorful characters. What inspired their personalities?
Clark: Kids come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, and we believed it was important to make a cartoon that incorporates these diverse traits. We felt it is essential that all kids watching the cartoon find a character they can relate to.
P&C: Which character do you relate to best and why?
Clark: Duke. He seems to be the natural athlete of the group.
Longoria: I guess there is a little of me in many of the characters. I like Scooter’s grit, Duke’s leadership, Grunt’s defensive position, and all the kids’ curiosity about this great game. The characters are so diverse and represent so many facets of my life that it is hard to choose one.
P&C: What kind of role did sports play in your childhood?
Longoria: Sports have taught me so much, how to work hard, how to win and lose, and how to be a teammate. Today, some of my closest friends are guys that I played baseball with from my early childhood years.
Clark: From a very young age, sports were a driving influence in my life. They taught me about teamwork, sportsmanship, and overcoming adversity. These are traits I continue to live by, not only on the baseball field, but also in everyday life.
P&C: How important do you think it is that physical education is provided in grade school? How important is it that a child be engaged in extracurricular sports?
Clark: Physical education is a must. Nearly one-third of our country is currently obese and we realize this starts at a very young age. Unfortunately, these numbers are continuing to grow, while physical education classes are being slashed from school curriculums. I believe it is more important than ever for kids to develop healthy habits right from the start and for parents and caregivers to help steer them on the right path to a lifetime of fitness. Engaging in sports can provide increased motivation for kids to enjoy healthy activities, while helping to impart some valuable lessons.
Longoria: While sports are not for everyone, they certainly have value beyond the field. So many life lessons are learned from sports, and no one ever complained about being too healthy.
P&C: Evan, you were recently named Rookie of the Year—what does that feel like? Has it changed your thoughts on baseball or your personal goals at all?
Longoria: It is funny, so much has happened to me over the past year, yet it was not too many years ago that I would have loved to have something like The Sportys to teach me baseball. Rookie of the Year is a great award and playing in the World Series was great. My goals are to always work hard, always respect my teammates and opponents, and always respect people in general. I have worked very hard to get here, but I know that I am fortunate to have this job and I appreciate the opportunities that it presents to me, such as getting involved in projects like The Sportys, where I can help positively impact children.
P&C: When you were a kid, was being a major league baseball player your dream career? What do you love about your job?
Longoria: Yes it was, always. I love my job and all the things that it allows me to do, along with the many different types of people that it allows me to meet. I love playing with my teammates and having that family type of bond with them.
P&C: Finally, if you could give a child aspiring to play a sport professionally one piece of advice, what would it be?
Clark: Follow your dreams. Believe in yourself. Never give up.
Longoria: If you love something and work hard at it, keep your head up no matter what the outcome. If you are always trying your best and always trying to improve, you will accomplish a lot.