EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Effingham County native Josh Reddick overcame a lot of people underestimating him to make it to the Major Leagues and win a World Series Championship last year.
Reddick has remained connected to the Coastal Empire and is now taking time out of this year's hectic off-season to continue to inspire kids in our area.
"I always say if I can get to one kid I'm doing something right, so it's all about saying the right thing, sending the right message," Reddick said.
The Houston Astros World Series champion has returned to his Effingham County home for part of the offseason and he's wasted no time getting to work with kids in the area. He visited Bethesda Academy on Tuesday as part of his 'Pitching Success' motivational speaking tour, aimed at inspiring youth.
"Mainly, my focus was, 'don't let anyone tell you you can't do anything, you're not good enough for something, because there are too many people in life who get told that and can go out and put in as much hard work as anyone and still get the job done, and I'm pretty much living proof of that for people," Reddick said.
Reddick hoped to play at Georgia but was not heavily recruited out of high school. Now, he's gone into what is now a nine-year Major League career, a $52 million contract, and in October, a World Series Championship. That all gives meaning to what he tells kids.
"The more people hear it straight from the horse's mouth, the more they're going to take it a little more into account than they would hearing it from the grapevine or seeing it on TV," he said.
The extended postseason and subsequent celebration have limited Reddick's stay in the area this offseason, but not the impact he hopes to have while he's here.
"Still fitting it in, it's just less time around here to promote and be around family a little bit longer, but if we can exchange that as a baseball player for the ultimate goal, I'll take it every time," Reddick said.
The 4th Annual Josh Reddick Foundation Music Festival will be held at Rincon's Freedom Park on Saturday. The event raises money to provide scholarships to students in Effingham County.