ARLINGTON -- Rangers first baseman Chris Davis pitched on Wednesday.
Only he used a head of lettuce instead of a baseball. But that's all right. Ranger Captain, who was the opposing hitter, was using a Corny Dog. Davis threw two pitches, and Ranger Captain swung and missed.
Davis threw a third pitch, and Ranger Captain fouled it off, sending bits and pieces of lettuce flying into the wind and swirling around the courtyard at Medical Center of Arlington as 36 fourth-graders from Arlington's Bebensee Elementary School roared with delight.
The point, MCA Wellness manager Tiffany Ryan said, is that lettuce may be better to eat than Corny Dogs.
Davis and the Rangers are trying to get such points across as they spent a few minutes on Wednesday afternoon talking to the children about the importance of diet, nutrition and exercise in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
"It's all about you," Arlington mayor Bob Cluck told them. "It's about all kids. It's about health and your life and how to stay healthy."
Davis is the honorary chairman for the Rangers 2009 Fitness All-Stars Program, which is beginning its second year of teaching the children of Arlington fitness and how to lead healthier lives. The program is part of the club's community outreach through the Texas Rangers Foundation.
"I know when I was growing up, my favorite part of the day was recess," Davis told his audience. "When I was your age, you couldn't find me inside. That's the big reason why I'm up here today. The biggest thing is to have fun and enjoy yourselves outside. I play video games once in a while, but when I was a kid, I'd rather go out and ride my bike, go to the pool and have fun."
He also ended up being a pretty good baseball player, earning quite a bit of "lettuce."
The Rangers have created four short videos starring Ranger Captain that are designed to interest children in a different aspect of being physically fit and are distributing them through the Arlington School District. Davis and Ranger Captain will also be making a series of appearances at various Arlington schools.
For more information, go to www.texasrangers.com/fitness
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.