News, Sports

A Giant Panda Makes His Mark On Baseball

Pablo Sandoval
Giants baseball legend, Pablo Sandovalon, July 15, 2010. Image: Chase N.

He’s a giant among Giants, and now his name will forever be in baseball’s record books.

Wednesday night was the first game in this year’s World Series. The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Since 1903, the World Series has been the big, end-of-season battle between the best teams from the American League and National League.

This year the Detroit Tigers of the American League are playing the San Francisco Giants of the National League.

In game one on Wednesday night, history was made. The Giants beat the Tigers and their impressive pitcher, Justin Verlander. The Giants won 8-3. They took a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven series. The highlight of the night, however, was made by the Giants’s heavy-hitting third baseman, Pablo Sandoval.

Sandoval was born in Venezuela. He is affectionately known to his teammates as Kung Fu Panda.

That’s because he is a large, athletic guy with amazing hand-eye coordination, just like the famous panda bear in the animated movie Kung Fu Panda.

On the first night of the World Series Sandoval used all of his panda power to become the first player ever in World Series history to hit home runs in each of his first three times at bat.

He also etched his name among three of baseball’s greatest sluggers. He joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the fourth player in World Series history to hit three homeruns in a World Series game.

Sandoval had a chance to hit a fourth home run late in the game, but came up with a single.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Sandoval is described as a panda because he is as coordinated and agile as the Kung Fu Panda from the movie.

Identify your favorite athlete or celebrity. What animal would you pick to describe them?

Which animal would you select to describe yourself? Why?

Reading Prompt: Reading Fluently
Have you ever heard a sportscast on the television, radio or Internet? Describe how announcers generally talk. What adjectives would you use to describe their voices?

Sportscasters often read and speak in a very passionate and enthusiastic manner.

Pretend to be a sportscaster and read this article out loud. Make sure to add the appropriate  expression to your voice.

Read appropriate texts at a sufficient rate and with sufficient expression to convey the sense of the text readily to the reader and an audience (OME, Reading: 3.3).

Junior and Intermediate
Read appropriate texts with expression and confidence, adjusting reading strategies and reading rate to match the form and purpose (OME, Reading: 3.3).

Grammar Feature: Metaphors
A metaphor creates a strong image in a reader’s head. When writing a metaphor, a person, place or thing is described as something else. For example, there are two metaphors in this article and they are used to describe Sandoval. He is described as being a giant and a panda.

What do these metaphors mean? How do they help you to create an image of Sandoval in your head?