PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - This wasn't just another ballplayer stopping by to see some kids.

Eduardo Escobar is a real life role model.

"To be able to have someone to look up to, and be able to say I can be like him someday, i'ts breathtaking," said Lanette Faulkner, director of Valencia Newcomer School in Phoenix.

[WATCH: Arizona Diamondbacks player from Venezuela on unrest in home country]

The Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman paid a visit to Valencia Newcomer Tuesday, a place where kids from around the world come to learn English and a new way of life, just like Escobar had to do when he moved to the U.S. more than a decade ago from his home country of Venezuela.

"The best part for me is when you see the smile on a kid's face," said Escobar. "That's most important for me. Every time I see a smile on a kid's face I am happy."

Escobar's visit held even more significance, with all the protests and chaos back in Venezuela.

[READ MORE: Clashes rock Venezuela as Guaido urges opposition uprising]

One of the students Escobar met Tuesday was 12-year-old Luis Tschupin, who's also from Venezuela.

Luis and his mom moved to Arizona eight months ago.

"I worry about my family because they are killing the people, and the president says if you don't respect him, they go to your house and kill you or put you in jail," said Luis. "I am very afraid."

Escobar hopes his visit provided a needed distraction.

He passed out new gloves and hats, helped kids in the garden and played a little baseball out on the playground.

Escobar is asking for thoughts, prayers and peace back home.

"Bad situation in my country right now," said Escobar. "Half my family is over there. A lot of players have family in Valenzuela. The most important thing is to stay positive every day with Jesus. Hopefully, God will take control of my country. I stay focused and play baseball."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.




Jason Barry is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports highlighting local restaurants with major health code violations.

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