Boys to Men

My 21-year-old brother Gregsman is flying in from Venezuela and will be here for the next home stand. He’s never been to San Francisco. Somebody asked me what is the one thing I want to make sure he sees in San Francisco, and I said, “The ballpark!’’

 

He is not going to believe this park. How beautiful it is, yes, but mostly he’s not going to believe the crowd. He’s seen me play in Atlanta and Kansas City, but I told him, “Those aren’t the same as here.’’ He’s going to feel he’s back in Venezuela. The fans here get excited like the crowds at home. So I know he’s going to love it. I’ll take him to eat at Benihana in Japantown and the Spanish restaurant Zarzuela on Hyde Street. I’ll make sure he sees the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Everything. There’s so much to see, and he has 12 days, so he’ll get a good look around.

 

It will mean a lot to me to have him here. Every time I get a hit or make a play, he’s going to feel proud. And that makes me feel proud. But he better not show up without Cocosette and Torontos. They are the best candies in the world. Cocosette is a wafer with coconut cream and Torontos are small balls of chocolate with hazelnut. I’ve never seen them anywhere but Venezuela. So I’m counting on him to come through.

 

My two-year-old son, also named Gregor, has been coming to the park most days recently. His babysitter brings him as early as 4 in the afternoon, and Gregor will sit with her in the stands by the dugout and watch batting practice. (My wife is busy at home and arrives closer to game time.) He’s really calm and comfortable at the park. He never cries and hardly ever gets cranky. There’s a canvas tarp – maybe six or seven feet long — stretched from the railing on the field to the railing by the first row of seats. During BP the other day, Pablo and I were rolling a ball to Gregor and he was rolling it back, just having the greatest time. At home, he always has a ball and bat and wants me to play with him. I love teaching him and watching him have so much fun.

 

Every now and then, I’ll bring Gregor into the clubhouse. He’ll just jump on the guys. They play around with him, and he loves it. His favorite player is probably Pablo because he’s so much like a kid himself.

 

It’s been interesting watching Gregor learn to talk. He doesn’t talk a lot yet, and I think it’s because he’s a little confused about the languages. He listens to us in Spanish and to the TV in English. So he mixes up all the words. He sings Happy Birthday in English but not in Spanish. When he counts, he starts in Spanish and finishes in English. He’ll go, “One, two, three, quatro, five, seis.’’ I’m sure he’ll work it all out and become really comfortable in both languages. I wish I had learned English when I was young. It’s so much easier than trying to pick it up as an adult.

 

Yesterday against the Braves, we weren’t able to rally back like we often do. I don’t know why we have so many one-run games, and why we seem to win so many of them. I think it’s because we’re pretty much like little kids. You know how when little kids start playing baseball and cry when they lose? That’s us. We don’t like to lose. Sometimes it seems like we wait until the last moment, until our backs are against the wall, and we say, “We’re about to lose this game and then we’re going to cry.’’ Then we say, “OK, come on, we have to win so everybody will be happy in the clubhouse and listening to music and dancing.’’

 

See? You think we’re grown up. But no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been in the big leagues, when you play a boy’s game for a living, some of that boy stays with you forever.

 

 

16 Comments

Great post, Gregor! Did Gregsman get to see your game-tying triple last night?

Until today, I didn’t know you had a blog. It’s nice to hear the real voice of players. As fans, we yell, cheer and give you guys all our love and support without ever really talking or understanding the individuals each of you are. Maybe because there is 42,000+ of us shouting in unison.

My family have been fans as long as my grandfather could remember, and I grew up in the freezing cold of Candlestick. Now my son is starting T-Ball and my daughter is a 4th year Junior Giant, and reading your blog lets the know that you aren’t untouchable superheroes out there, but real people that play baseball for a living. It really brings you guys to street level for the kids, and makes them love you even more.

Keep up the great work. I love the slap-hits and running bunts when the other teams sets up incorrectly against you. We will continue to cheer and support you, and the rest of the guys even if we are down 20 runs. It doesn’t matter. 25 men, one common goal thats shared with over 42,000 people at AT&T. We are ALL Giants.

I enjoyed your blog immensely. You write superbly, and I especially liked hearing about Gregor Jr, at the ballpark. Why does it not surprise me that Pablo and he get along well? I think you are right that Pablo is so much like a kid himself. As I wrote on Brandon C.’s blog, I think defense is more important than offense, which is why I find you so fun to watch. Now, having said that, I think back to Saturday’s game (career-high four RBI’s} and yesterday’s game (another extra-base hit) and I see that we have the best of both worlds in Gregor, Sr. Thanks for providing us fans with the best that baseball has to offer! I look forward to future blog posts.

I was at the game yesterday & I just kept thinking how great it was that your brother was here to see it!

Well written man. I like how you tied the theme of childhood into a few different things in your life. So much innocence in so many different ways. Well done man, your writing skills are strong, (unless, of course, you’re using a ghost writer :^)

Gregor! I love reading your blog. It just nice to be able to get to know you guys a little more. It is wonderful that your brother is coming to visit. I can hear the love in your voice when you write about him. So happy he is here to visit you. Such a cute story about your son and it doesn’t surprise me that Pablo would be his favorite! From what you write I can tell that you guys just have so much fun together playing.

You wrote “We’re about to lose this game and then we’re going to cry.’’ Then we say, “OK, come on, we have to win so everybody will be happy in the clubhouse and listening to music and dancing.’’ LOL! Writing things like this just makes me love you guys even more! You big kids! Hunter, especially, reminds me of a very excitable 8 year old running around just happy to be playing and looking forward to orange slices and a juice box after the game!

Coming to the game tomorrow with my mom! Be strong for Timmy tomorrow. He really needs you guys. Help him through to a good outing!

I am a fan of yours!!!!! Now I like you even more after reading that blog. Hope you have a great time with your brother. Gregor (little) sounds great. I bet he enjoys his uncle!

I think your English is great! Love the blog posts…keep ‘em coming!! Awesome win tonight!!

It is so great that your son is going to be bilingual – what a great gift for him. I understand that learning two languages when you’re young makes it even easier to learn more later on. Who knows how far he might go! Have fun with your bro and enjoy your taste of home.

Great post. It’s so much fun for fans to learn about your every day life especially your family. I’m sure you’ll show your brother a wonderful time in the ‘city by the bay’ and of course he’ll enjoy seeing you play. Sounds like your little boy is destined to be a ball player like his daddy. The language will come. It’s a great thing to be bilingual. If you talk to him in both languages it will help. We fans hate to see you lose but we know you can’t win them all. At least you swept the Dodgers! We were there for the last game of the series on Sunday and had a great day at the park. Just keep on keeping on and it will be fine.

Have the best time with your brother–San Francisco is such a great place to visit! There’s always something to do!
Gregor, it’s time for you to get a Bay Area candy! Here’s my suggestion: http://corknandys.com/pages/about-torttles
Thanks for the awesome post!

Have the best time with your brother–San Francisco is such a great place to visit! There’s always something to do!
Gregor, it’s time for you to get a Bay Area candy! Here’s my suggestion: http://corknandys.com/pages/about-torttles
Thanks for the awesome post!

Thanks for cool stories about your family, Gregor! In February I went to Venezuela to visit my friend, and practice my Spanish, and ate lots of Cocosette!! Es un pais hermosisimo y la gente es muy amable y divertida. Que lo pases bien con tu hermano durante su visita.

Love the way you & all the players feel about the park & fans. We love you all too. Giants helped me get through breast cancer in 2011 & now getting myhubby Tom through prostate cancer. Keep playing hard. We love you all.

That was an awesome post! Hilarious too. That’s so great your brother will be in town and get to see SF. It’s a great place to visit and lots of tourist stuff to see and do. I didn’t know you had a son. That’s so cute you get to bring him to the clubhouse and play with the players. That sounds like fun. Do the players usually bring their kid sometimes to the clubhouse? Yeah we hate to see you guys lose too haha I was at last night’s game. My coworker is a big Braves fan. Needless to say, I did not want to run into him today and hear him haha hopefully you guys can pick it up and get some W’s! You can do it! Thanks for sharing!

This was a frickin’ AWESOME post, Gregor!!! Have a great game tonight, and since there’s no crying in baseball, probably better just win, yeah? GO GIANTS!!

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