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In his major league debut, Evan Gattis took Phillies ace Roy Halladay deep in the 4th inning of last night’s rain soaked game to put Atlanta up 4-0, but it’s the story surrounding this four-bagger that makes it such a memorable one. During the at-bat, Gattis’ father was being interviewed live during the game’s broadcast from his seat with family sitting all around him. Then, on the third pitch from Halladay, Gattis gets a hold of one.
I’m not able to find a video of the homerun that I can embed, but you can watch it here.
Then, when you’re filled in on Gattis’ backstory, it makes you appreciate this night even more. It’s been a long time coming for the kid.
The young man who caught Gattis’ home run ball was wearing a Texas A&M hat. The irony was certainly not ignored by Gattis, who committed to play at A&M before he opted to avoid the possibility of testing positive for marijuana, a substance he mixed with alcohol in attempt to overcome depression.
Gattis’ four-year journey away from baseball allowed him to enjoy stints as a ski lift operator, janitor and a cook. Once he decided to return to baseball in 2006, head coach Brian Reinke gave him an invitation to play alongside his stepbrother at the University of Texas Permian Basin.
Pretty neat stuff. Touching even.
Now, let’s talk for a minute about this homerun.
First of all, how cocky is this goddamn rookie strutting up to the batter’s box without batting gloves on? You have to love that move. So arrogant, so blue collar. Just a man and his tool. He looks like he’s up there to chop wood, not face one of the league’s premier pitchers.
Second, he pimps the fucking homerun. That half-second stare down and bat flip after he makes contact is the stuff of legend, and he does it off a former Cy Young winner.
Is this the cockiest rookie to ever come through the bigs? I didn’t watch this game, so hopefully someone can fill me in — did he catch 98 MPH in the earhole later on in the night? If not, it might be coming.
At least he put the ball into the upper deck, right? With a pimp job like that, it had to have been a no-doubter.
Nope. God, this guy is a complete asshole and I love every minute of it.