Amateur Baseball: Love of the game carries on for Gibarts
Baseball is a family game.
It's passed down from parents to children, fathers to sons.
The Gibart family is no different.
Red Wing Aces' co-manager Andy Gibart, 32, learned from his father Steve and immediately took to the game.
Now, Andy's son Brodie has leapt into baseball with little regard for anything else.
"Obviously as a baseball diehard myself, I was hoping, without pushing, that he would love baseball," Andy said. "It was more of me being around the game and hoping that he picked it up. It's amazing; the kid has exceeded anything that I thought he would in his love for baseball."
Brodie's morning routine is thorough, if simple. Before eating breakfast, 5-year old Brodie grabs the family iPad and scrolls through all the Major League Baseball scores from the previous night. But he doesn't stop there; he reads out the scores, counts the number of games played and opens up all of the highlights from the games, asking his father to come check out any spectacular plays.
"About three times every morning, he's like, 'Dad, you gotta see this,'" Andy said. "And that immediately turns into, after breakfast, he's got his glove on his hand and he's either asking to play catch or to pitch."
Andy said he was much the same way as a child, watching Major League Baseball games on TV and traveling with his dad to see Aces' games.
"My dad tells me I was a little bit of the same way," Andy said. "I remember the Aces as a kid, going to games and chasing foul balls. I remember listening on the radio when they won the state championship in 1993, jumping down my stairs in my house yelling, 'The Aces won, the Aces won.' It was something I was always drawn to and I fell in love with the game."
Andy is a glowing father when talking about his son and Brodie is locked in while watching his dad pitch.
"It's amazing. It's everything that I wanted in a little son, to be able to soak up the game like this," Andy said.
On Friday, Gibart was the winning pitcher for Red Wing as they defeated River Falls 7-3 at the Red Wing Athletic Field. Brodie, the Aces' bat boy, sat intently watching the game from start to finish and never missed an opportunity to bring game balls to the umpire and retrieve Red Wing's bats.
"I like getting the bats," Brodie said after the game Friday, "because I like the Aces."
Last year, Brodie begged Andy to be a bat boy for Red Wing. Andy allowed him to get a taste of it, expecting his young son to tire of sitting in a dugout, but it never happened. Now, Brodie keeps his attention fixated for an entire game and takes his job seriously.
"Brodie is intent on his job of getting bats, but when we're in the field, the kid is sitting on the dugout bench watching the game and studying," Andy said. "My wife and I, the one thing that we say is that his baseball tank is never full and it's so true. It's more than I could have imagine, just having him around and loving the game. It's hard to put into words."
Brodie may have said it best when responding to why he likes baseball after Friday night's game. It was a telling answer on Father's Day weekend and exemplifies baseball.
"Because my dad does."