The Houston Astros will try to close out the World Series and become champions in Game 7 Wednesday night.
Evan Gattis, an Astros catcher, is a North Texas native. He was a member of the Dallas Tigers Baseball Club growing up and attended several high schools in the area.
“I talk to Evan at least once a week. We text [and] we call each other,” said Tommy Hernandez, Dallas Tigers founder. “I've known Evan since he was 10, watched him go through high school [and] graduate from high school.”
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Hernandez remembers Gattis' accomplishments through youth and into adulthood fondly.
“Evan was kind of like he is now. He was a big, big boy and strong and funny and a great teammate. He was one of the best kids we've ever had,” Hernandez said.
The current players said they are learning lessons from Gattis about overcoming adversity in both baseball and in life. They said he has been a supporter of them even after making the big leagues.
“Three years ago, at a baseball practice, he came by and it was pouring down rain and we all shook his hand,” said Dillon Carter, an Argyle High School baseball player.
Carter recalled Gattis taking time to play catch with the boys in the pouring rain.
“You see how massive he actually is and not just how big he is on TV,” Carter said. “[He is an] inspiration for me, watching guys that grew up in the same area as me and playing with the same coach that I'm playing with. It's awesome to see them and how they develop during their careers.”
There is another Dallas Tigers alumnus on the other side of the World Series. Dodgers pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, was also a Tiger.