PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Baltimore Orioles second baseman Ryan Flaherty always knew he wanted to play baseball in the big leagues, so when he was a kid he worked hard and sacrificed to make that dream a reality.
"It was something I always had as a goal," Flaherty told 8th graders packed into the cafeteria of Lyman Moore Middle School, a school he attended himself.
"I am fortunate enough to do what I wanted to do when I was a kid, and it is the greatest game in the world and to be able to play it is a blessing," he said.
Flaherty was told the students that making the right choices now can have an impact on how far they go towards reaching their goals.
"It is a crazy time in your life, you know things are changing, people are changing, but you know it is really where you start to develop some of your developmental skills," he explained.
He implored the kids to get involved in group activities, be it a club or a sports team, as a way to improve their communications skills and develop friendships.
"It is good to part of something," he said. "Someday when you guys are older, whatever you guys want to do whether you want to be a doctor, whether you want to work on Wall Street or be a professional athlete you know, being a part of a team or being a part of a club is very important."