Braves’ rookie catcher, Evan Gattis is one of baseball hottest hitting rookies
Atlanta Braves catcher Evan Gattis is just a rookie, but by the way he’s swinging the bat you’d think he’s 10 time all-star. That is hardly the story of Evan Gattis though. During the summer of 2007 the sensational rookie nearly killed himself. From that moment on, Gattis’ story is one of the best feel good stories you will ever hear. Truly a story that needs to be made into a Hollywood movie.
Via USA Today:
“I was in a mental hospital,” he tells USA TODAY Sports. “I couldn’t sleep for an entire week, and I knew something was wrong with me. So I got admitted. I was so depressed, all I could think about was killing myself.
“I wanted to kill myself for a long time.”
The rookie sensation is a 26-year-old former janitor, who, over four years, meandered through life before signing for a $1,000 bonus. Gattis was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety six years ago and, through medication, therapy and time, eventually discovered what he wanted out of life.
“I remember him telling his life story to three of us in the weight room in spring training,” Braves bullpen catcher Alan Butts says, “and by the time he was done, 20 guys stopped what they were doing to listen. We didn’t know what to say. Finally, I said, ‘Dude, that’s unbelievable.’
“Now, everywhere we go, you see other teams stop what they’re doing to watch him take BP and say, ‘Who is this kid?’”
Gattis is listed at 6’4, 235 pounds. Quite tall for a baseball catcher. He has played 49 games higher than Class A and none above Class AA. The best moment of this story may have come when Braves manager, Fredi Gonzalez told him he made the team at the end of spring training and the tears started pouring out of Gattis’ eyes.
Gattis’ jersey has become the hottest seller in the Braves’ gift shops, team officials say, and they have built their marketing campaign around Gattis for a home series that began Monday against the Washington Nationals: “The Nats are coming to town. Time to show some #Gattitude.”
“And to think, this guy wasn’t even in our plans in spring training,” general manager Frank Wren says.
Then again, how could anyone plan on him in baseball when he had no plans in life until four years ago?
“Crazy, huh?” Gattis says.