Braves slugger Gattis has a story. Man, does he ever

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – It’s a rite of spring training: pitchers dominate hitters in early “live” batting practice, because pitchers have been throwing for weeks while hitters have been facing pedestrian 60-70 mph fastballs from coaches.

After taking a long and winding path to big-league camp, Evan Gattis said he was so happy he cried the first day of spring training. (Jason Getz photo/AJC).

After taking a long and winding path to big-league camp, Evan Gattis said he was so happy he cried the first day of spring training. (Jason Getz photo/AJC).

So imagine the surprise when Braves left-hander Eric O’Flaherty, who led major league relievers with a 0.98 ERA, began pitching to Evan Gattis last week and the minor league catcher jacked one after another to the far reaches of the ballpark and beyond.

“Normally guys are late on your heater this time of year, but he was turning on it, pulling it,” O’Flaherty said. “He hit a deep foul, took a couple deep to left field and I was like, who is this guy” A lot of guys come in taking pitches and feeling their way; he swung at everything I threw and just crushed it.”

Pitchers typically tell hitters what pitch is coming next in these sessions.  O’Flaherty, juices now flowing, at one point told Gattis he was throwing a four-seamer. He threw a cutter instead. “And he crushed it anyway,” O’Flaherty said, shaking his head.

Gattis is a 6-foot-3, 235-pound, right-handed-hitter — “a beast, a man-child,” veteran catcher David Ross said — who hit .322 with 22 homers in just 88 games last season at Class-A Rome.

He is a non-roster invitee who’s created a buzz in Braves camp, both for his batting-practice exploits — including homers off O’Flaherty, closer Craig Kimbrel and top prospect Julio Teheran — and his highly unusual background.

Did we mention he is 25 and was out of baseball for nearly four years?

Who is this guy? Gattis himself is just starting to figure that out.

Journey began in Texas

Eight years ago, James Evan Gattis was a burly power hitter coming out of high school in Forney, Texas. He signed with Texas A&M, but never made it to College Station.

Instead he went to drug rehab for 30 days. Then a halfway house for three months. After a brief baseball career at an Oklahoma junior college, he dropped out and tried to tune in or turn on to something, anything that might give him some clarity.

His life began to resemble a Jack Kerouac novel mixed with new age spiritualism wherever he could find it. He traveled the western United States, stopping for a few months here and there, working jobs ranging from ski-lift operator to janitor.

“I knew there was something more,” Gattis said. “I just felt like there was this thing called happiness, and I wanted it. And the more you look for it, the more it seems further away.”

He told some Braves players his story recently. They were enthralled. The guy has lived a little bit.

“He,”  Ross, “has lived a lotta bit.”

A career with many detours

Let’s back up. To 2004, when Gattis was set to play at A&M before abruptly deciding not to. He was 17. Gattis explained two years ago that had feared he might go to A&M and fail as a ballplayer, and his self-worth would be shattered.

He said this week there was another reason he didn’t go.

“I was terrified – I didn’t want to fail a drug test,” he said. “I didn’t want to be a mess-up, you know? I didn’t want to fail at that stage and have people say, ‘Here’s this kid with all this talent and he wasted it; what a shame’ and all that.”

Instead of going to college, his mother took him to drug rehab.

“I don’t know if that was the best choice, in hindsight,” he said. “But then again…”

Gattis said was diagnosed with clinical depression at one point and used several different medications. He also did plenty of self-medicating. Booze and marijuana.

He doesn’t know if he actually had depression, but said there were times he thought he’d end up dead if things didn’t change.

After 30 days of in-patient rehab, he went to Prescott, Ariz., for three months of out-patient care. While there he got a call from Seminole State (Okla.) baseball coach Eric Myers, asking if he was interested in playing.

“He said, ‘If you want to, it’d be a good spot for you.’” Gattis said. “He kind of found people like me. He was a good molder of people. He died since then, had a brain tumor. I wish he was still around, so I could thank him.”

Gattis redshirted as a freshman and played a half-season at Seminole, then left. Dropped out. Said he’d been sober for about 18 months before something happened.

“I was so overwhelmed with everything that I ended up quitting,” he said. “It surprised the hell out of me that [Myers] said, ‘Well, I see you as a friend and there’s no hard feelings. Enjoy whatever you’re going to do. Enjoy college.’ At that time I planned on going back to college and finishing my degree in psychology or something.”

He didn’t make it back to college.

Going out West

The next couple of years were a blur. Mom buys Gattis plane ticket to visit sister in Boulder, Colo. Falls in love with the place, sells his truck and moves there. Works at a pizza joint, gets a job as a lift operator at Eldora Mountain, hitch-hikes to work.

Seven months later, he got an itch again. Returned to Texas along with his brother, who’d been working at a Utah ski resort. The Gattis boys took jobs as janitors in Dallas at Datamatic – “we found it on Craig’s List” – then moved on to become cart-boys at a golf course.

“Right about this time I started finding these spiritual teachers or whatever on YouTube,” Gattis says, “and I thought, these mother******s  know what I’m talking about. They’re speaking my language, whatever they’re saying.”

Gattis met with one such advisor when she came through Dallas. She said something that convinced him to drop everything and follow her to Taos, N.M. He told his parents a few days before Christmas, then left.

He lived in a hostel at Taos and worked at another ski resort there, but after three months Gattis was ready to move on.

“Going to California, going to see some different people,” he said. “Because there’s a lot of them from the West Coast — the California guru game.”

The starter failed on his 1995 Dodge pickup, so Gattis  said he push-started it and drove to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara without once turning off the engine, filling up with gas while idling. From there he went to Santa Cruz, Calif., where he ran into a famous spiritualist he’d wanted to talk with about life. Gattis asked him, what do I need to do?

“It was kind of a letdown, but it was like, ‘OK, cool, I don’t have anything to do. I don’t have to find anything.’ He basically said, chill out.”

Teammates and coaches say Gattis is a tireless worker who wants to get better. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Teammates and coaches say Gattis is a tireless worker who wants to get better. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

A day or two later, Gattis had another epiphany. He wanted to play baseball again.

He was in San Francisco at the time. He said he waited four hours for two cars to move that were parked behind him on a steep street, so he could roll his truck into an alley, where he gave a six-pack of beer to a homeless person to help him push-start it.

Gattis called his dad and said he was coming home. He called his stepbrother, Drew Kendrick, a pitcher at the University of Texas-Permian Basin. The coach there remembered Gattis from high school, said there was a spot for him.

Back to baseball

Gattis, who hadn’t played since 2006, took a few months to shake rust off his swing. He hit .403 with 11 homers in his only season at UT-PB. Some teams were wary of his background, but the Braves drafted him in the 23rd round in 2010.

He weighed about 270 pounds at rookie-league Danville in 2010, where he hit .288 with four homers in 60 games. The following spring training, Gattis failed to win an opening day roster spot with any Braves minor league affiliate.

“When he came to camp that first year in instructional league he ended up hurting his knee,” said Joe Breeden, Braves minor league catching instructor. “But before he got hurt he asked me, ‘What should I do?’ I said the first thing you’ve got to do is you’ve got to get in shape. You need to lose some weight, 25-30 pounds at least.

“And he came back in that next spring and he was in great shape. Out of spring he didn’t make the [Rome] club and he was wearing it out down here in extended [spring training], really swinging it very well, hitting balls out to right-center, everywhere.”

Gattis was added to the Rome roster in May and punished A-ball pitching, winning the South Atlantic League batting title while posting a .386 on-base percentage and whopping .601 slugging percentage. He drove in 71 and homered 22 times in 338 at-bats.

Gattis still needs to work on his footwork, but his throws from behind the plate have improved significantly and he's learning to call games. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

Gattis still needs to work on his footwork, but his throws from behind the plate have improved significantly and he's learning to call games. (Jason Getz photo/AJC)

He still needs work defensively, but he’s got a strong arm and tireless work ethic, and Breeden said he’s extremely receptive to instruction.

“He works his butt off,” Breeden said. “You see him he’s in there every morning in the weight room, not just lifting but stretching and flexibility. He needs more flexibility to be able to move the way he needs to move. Losing the weight has allowed him to move…. To me he’s improved the most with his arm, just the accuracy and being able to have true carry all the time. It’s getting better and better.’

Gattis will move up to either high-A or Double-A this season — whichever of those levels the Braves don’t send top young catching prospect Christhian Bethancourt.

Even though he’s 25 and hasn’t played above A-ball, the Braves now consider Gattis a legit prospect.

“He’s got such strength, and a good swing,” assistant general manager Bruce Manno said. “Defensively he’s gotten better behind the plate. He just needs work. His arm’s good enough, it’s just a matter of — with a lot of guys — you work on the feet, the footwork. Coming out quicker, that kind of stuff. But he’s doing that.”

“He’s a little older, but with guys like that it really doesn’t matter. He started later.”

When he’s in the batting cage there’s a distinctive thwack!

“It’s a different sound off his bat,” Manno said.

He’s got plenty of new fans who’ll be following his progress this year.

“He has some serious power,” Ross said. “Kind of rare to see a young guy come in here and make that big an impression… He sat down and told us all his story the other day. He’s a good guy, man. He’s an interesting guy.

“He seems to have his head on straight, and he works hard. Those are the kind of stories that everybody loves. You like the guy that had troubles in life and done some different things. Everybody likes that story. Even us players — you like the guy who’s worked his tail off and things have paid off.”

Gattis said baseball once seemed pressure-filled and grueling. Not anymore. The only thing that’s overwhelmed him recently is happiness.

“I was crying the other day,” he said. “First day here, just like that. It seems like it’s been just like that, four years just flying by….

“I think it might have seemed like a job, because it is a lot of work. But now I feel like I can work harder than some people because I legitimately want to and I enjoy it. I enjoy working hard, you know what I mean? I want to get better.

“I want to see what next year brings, and simple things like how strong am I pound for pound? Technique and all that stuff is going to come, and it comes because we work on it every day. You’re surrounded by instruction, and it’s fun to me now to work hard. It’s fun to try to make yourself better.”

Does he feel like he’s getting closer to fulfilling a dream or reaching goals?

“Absolutely,” he said. “Now I’m trying to play forever. So we’ll see how that goes. Crazy, huh?”

There was just one more question: Did he ever find what he was looking for?

“I didn’t find anything,” he said, smiling. “But I don’t have to look anymore.”

1,829 comments Add your comment

eskippy

February 29th, 2012
7:33 pm

David from Athens, AL

February 29th, 2012
7:41 pm

Thanks Dave! Pulling for him! Maybe another position since are so strong in catching depth.

chin music

February 29th, 2012
7:43 pm

excellent work! sounds like an easy guy to root for.

Scottbravesfan

February 29th, 2012
7:51 pm

Awesome story!

Larry

February 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

Thanks Dave!

Much, much more powerful for me is not the crack of his bat but the greatness of victory over his personal demons.

Inspiring story, Dave.

Slope time: 7 underrated ski resorts

February 29th, 2012
8:12 pm

[...] Braves slugger Gattis has a story. Man, does he ever Works at a pizza joint, gets a job as a lift operator at Eldora Mountain, hitch-hikes to work. Seven months later, he got an itch again. Returned to Texas along with his brother, who had been working at a ski resort in Utah. The Gattis boys took jobs … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Fitzgeraldfan

February 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

Love the story. Pulling for Gattis to make it to the bigs.

Latest Hitch Ski News

February 29th, 2012
8:16 pm

[...] Braves slugger Gattis has a story. Man, does he ever Works at a pizza joint, gets a job as a lift operator at Eldora Mountain, hitch-hikes to work. Seven months later, he got an itch again. Returned to Texas along with his brother, who had been working at a ski resort in Utah. The Gattis boys took jobs … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

David O'Brien

February 29th, 2012
8:17 pm

Larry, Scottbravesfan, chin music, David from Athens: Thanks.

Pedro Cerrano

February 29th, 2012
8:20 pm

Never give up…..

JoshTown

February 29th, 2012
8:29 pm

Wow, amazing story. Absolutely the best of luck to you Evan! Thanks for highlighting this, DOB!

David O'Brien

February 29th, 2012
8:36 pm

Just added some photos of Gattis to the story.

BravesCountryBoy

February 29th, 2012
8:37 pm

Another Hamilton, Dave??????? #wishfulthinking

David O'Brien

February 29th, 2012
8:37 pm

Our Jason Getz posted a really nice photo gallery from today’s photo day:

http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/sports/braves/braves-photo-day022912/

Cleanuphitter16

February 29th, 2012
8:38 pm

Great story! Thanks for bringing it to us DOB, and you have a lot of folks rooting for you Evan. Hey, you get a chance to play baseball for a living, man… just enjoy it!

BFChris27

February 29th, 2012
8:40 pm

Awesome new blog :)

N Nine

February 29th, 2012
8:40 pm

WOOOHOO It’s baseball season!!!

DP

February 29th, 2012
8:41 pm

Ah… Dave bringing us this story is what makes spring training so special for the players and the fans. Thanks for this gem Dave!

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
8:44 pm

That’s a hell of a story, thanks, as always, DOB.

Choppinmama

February 29th, 2012
8:47 pm

Wow, what a story. Talk about a personal journey to find what road to take. And God bless people like Coach Myers who are willing to give a chance to folks who are searching for that road.

Thanks to Evan for his honesty and willingness to share his story. Can’t wait to get a picture of him and Rossy side-by-side. David and Goliathesqe!

MIBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
8:47 pm

Great story, DOB. I hope he makes it to the majors. I can’t help but wish him all the best.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
8:48 pm

Is this the New Blog…? Thanks, Chief!

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
8:50 pm

N Nine LOL always a sucker for McDoubles. hahah

Always. :)

cabravesfan I’m sure he’s rather tasty…

You wouldn’t wanna eat him! Five minutes with him and you’ll be in love!… ;)

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
8:53 pm

So…is this the new blog? I’m confused :)

McFann-

But…but…I love duck!

Interested Bystander

February 29th, 2012
8:57 pm

What’s going on? This can’t be the main blog. No song no posters only few posts….

nolie

February 29th, 2012
8:59 pm

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
8:59 pm

At least it’s not just me! DOB! HELP!! WE NEED YOU!

Bill

February 29th, 2012
8:59 pm

Super story..I love to see someone over come the demons that drive some crazy. I pray the young man continues with his baseball life all the way to Majors..God bless!
Thanks Dave..great job man.

Dawgdad (The Original)

February 29th, 2012
9:00 pm

Great job DOB, thanks for sharing stories like this one.

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:02 pm

By the way, is it crazy that, from the photos, Gattis looks a bit like Javy Lopez?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:03 pm

Also, what a great story. Thanks DOB!

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:09 pm

cabravesfan

And I love chicken, but that doesn’t mean I’d eat……Babs!…

:mrgreen: ;)

Samantha

February 29th, 2012
9:09 pm

Hello everyone, New on the site but a Braves lover.

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:10 pm

Who’s Babs? And can I put some soy sauce and butter on…her? and pop her in the oven for a bit of…tanning?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:11 pm

Hi Samantha! Let’s get the basics out of the way- who is your favorite Brave, how do you feel about the Phillies, and where do you call home? :D

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:14 pm

Babs is from Chicken Run! She’s hilarious…and loves knitting (she’s British)…

And can I put some soy sauce and butter on…her?

OK, but no gravy—she doesn’t like gravy…

Welcome, Samantha!

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:14 pm

“I didn’t find anything,” he said, smiling. “But I don’t have to look anymore.”

If that is not THE most brilliant quote I have EVER heard from a baseball player…

Bob in SF

February 29th, 2012
9:14 pm

If the bat progresses do the Braves see him being able to play a corner outfield or infield position? Moving to the outfield worked out OK for another big hitting catcher they had a few years back.

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:15 pm

Welcome, Samantha!!!

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:15 pm

McFann-

I don’t like gravy on my chicken either :)

brian

February 29th, 2012
9:15 pm

another person who can fill McCann’s shoes!! Who will be the blog favorite now? Bethancourt or Gattis? DOB – you did this blog for McFann didn’t you!

Seriously, great blog and great story. If he can keep mashing the ball it would be nice if Gattis could play LF

Samantha

February 29th, 2012
9:16 pm

My favorite brave is Freddie Freeman. Heis awesome and handsome. I hate,hate, hate the Phillies.I hail from Gwinnett Georgia.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:17 pm

cabravesfan

Yeah, me, neither…

brian

I must have upset DOB some how… ;)

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:18 pm

Bob-

I imagine, given his age and the demands on the body for a catcher, plus Christian Bethancourt, Gattis will either be moved or, if he continues to advance, traded. I just can’t imagine there is a future for him as a catcher in Atlanta. But hopefully there is a future here. Seems like the kind of guy you want around your team.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:18 pm

Samantha

Great! You’re hired! ;)

(BMac’s mine, but I let cabravesfan think she’s got a share of him… ;) )

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:19 pm

“Hi Samantha! Let’s get the basics out of the way – who is your favorite Brave, how do you feel about the Phillies, and where do you call home?”

(Howling with laughter!!!) Subtle greeting, cab, subtle. You are in charge of the official DOB Blog Welcome Wagon Indoctrination Process. Step right this way, please.

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:19 pm

Samantha-

Freddie is acceptable (especially since he is a SoCal boy!), right answer on the Phils, and I hear Gwinnett is lovely. You can stay! :D

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:20 pm

Dude. Mac is MINE. McFann is not even old enough to drink yet! ;)

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
9:20 pm

Where did you hear that cab?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:21 pm

MiaBchBravesFan-

I don’t do subtle very well :D

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:21 pm

Jarryd-

Where did I hear what?

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

About Gwinnett.

Samantha

February 29th, 2012
9:22 pm

Thank you, Anything else you would like to know?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:23 pm

Samantha-

I’m sure we will drag it all out of you eventually :) But that’s all for now

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

Jarryd-

It seems like a nice place, from folks who live there, have been there, and photos… :)

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

Fair enough. I hear Statesboro is nice about this time, and this time I mean for the next two weeks, then it gets hot, humid, and miserable.

cabbage

February 29th, 2012
9:24 pm

any chance this guy can play 3d???

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:25 pm

I don’t know where Statesboro is

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:26 pm

I do know it would be nice if it warmed up a bit here…it’s been too cold!

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:26 pm

So Freddie’s knee is better today. Good news. Do not want him on the shelf too long and lose valuable swing time in ST. Who’s gonna pitch in the first ST game? Fredi give any inkling?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:27 pm

MiaBchBravesFan-

Announced today- Minor will start Saturday

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

Freddie also said he was going to try to talk his way into the lineup for Saturday, so it sounds like his knee is fine (if not actually better yet)- if I’m Fredi or Frank, there is NO WAY the kid plays before, like, Thursday at the earliest…

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

It’s near Savannah, you familiar with that place?

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:28 pm

I’ll trade weather with you, cab. SoFla has been OK and “pleasant”, but at least a few weeks of something resembling a normal SoFla winter would be nice. We’re getting June weather on most days here – a little too balmy for my tastes this time of year.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

cabravesfan

“Love does not ask to see your ID.”

—Keith Partridge

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

Jarryd-

Know where it is- never been.

Ray

February 29th, 2012
9:29 pm

terrific story on the Gattis kid. Shows you, not to give up on someone just because they make a mistake. I think the weather is here outside….cabrave.. just for you

Mark (another one)

February 29th, 2012
9:30 pm

I wonder if he can play third? Now may be the time to give him a chance.

Jarryd

February 29th, 2012
9:30 pm

Well it’s close.

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

MiaBchBravesFan-

Nope. It will warm up in a few days :)

McFann-

Now that sounds a bit…stalkeresque ;)

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

Now, the knee cap slipped/shifted. Will Freddie need patelar support of some kind, like many of the basketball players use (strap tied underneath the knee cap for support)? Or is this just a condition he deals with from time to time with no real solution?

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

Ray-

Yeah- we have weather here too… :D :roll:

brian

February 29th, 2012
9:31 pm

the Terd is getting 1st shot at 3B. Catcher will help Gattis retain a higher value if his hitting continues to progress. It would be nice for Gattis to get some time in LF. I would love to see a masher in LF

Samantha

February 29th, 2012
9:32 pm

I am going to sign off for now. Talk to everyone tomorrow if it is OK.

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:32 pm

MiaBchBravesFan-

I think I read somewhere that he will wear a brace from now on- or at least until it is fully healed…

cabravesfan

February 29th, 2012
9:33 pm

Samantha-

Of course! Please come back- we always like having more ladies here! (yes, I am female…)

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:34 pm

Always welcome anytime, Samantha!

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:37 pm

McFann, I am sure others have asked, but now it occurs to me. Have you ever met Brian in person? If so, was he cool or stiff?

bp

February 29th, 2012
9:45 pm

DOB good stuff as usual.

Randy Hatchett

February 29th, 2012
9:46 pm

First time I’ve ever responded to an article before( never called a talk show either), but you hit it outta the park. These kinds of insights are why I enjoy your columns. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a baseball nut and really enjoy those too. Keep it up.
thanks

Tomahawkin (The Godfather)

February 29th, 2012
9:47 pm

Wow, I think 1/2 The Cats that are on this blog who live in the Metro Area either live or have lived in Gwinnett County…?

David O'Brien

February 29th, 2012
9:50 pm

MiaBchBravesFan: Freddie will wear a brace from now on — he even said for the rest of his career.

David O'Brien

February 29th, 2012
9:51 pm

Randy Hatchett, Ray, BP: Thanks.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:52 pm

cabbravesfan Now that sounds a bit…stalkeresque

Yeah, it was a bit creepier than I wanted… :P

MiaBchBravesFan

I’ve never actually met him…I got his autograph at his 2009 rehab game, but I was the next-to-last in the row of people, and he didn’t have time for chit-chat (plus, that was when he first got his specs, so he had all that going on…)…But I’ve heard he’s a great guy! :)

Not sure what I’d say if I actually did meet—I’d prolly wind up saying something dumb, like, “Nice to meet you!…Really!…Nice!…” :lol:

Bravefaninok

February 29th, 2012
9:53 pm

Great story DOB,Thanks!!!

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
9:53 pm

Bye, Samantha! Yes, do come back! We ladies always enjoy having another lady around to “giggle” with… ;)

Mixxo

February 29th, 2012
9:54 pm

Yessssss!!!

Warriors OWN the hapless Hawks.

MiaBchBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
9:55 pm

McFann, as long as you don’t stammer. :-)

Tomahawkin (The Godfather)

February 29th, 2012
10:00 pm

Braves Better be wise not To rush Fab 5 Freddie Back…This Knee issue will linger longer than most people are gonna think…I have a keen eye on these kinds of things, Trust me…

Storms are here, Time to go out on the patio and watch…

richbrave

February 29th, 2012
10:01 pm

Told you guys all A-ball 2011 season be on the lookout for ‘BIG JIM’ once I saw him raking in ROME.

Skeezix

February 29th, 2012
10:03 pm

Great story! I’m rooting for him. I can relate as I did a few wayward things and some “searching” in my youth, and learned life lessons (like the value of hard work). I hope he never, ever goes back to drugs.

richbrave

February 29th, 2012
10:03 pm

DAVID:

I knew he had an exceptional season in ROME, but had not read the full back-ground story until now. Impressive. Thanx.

richbrave

February 29th, 2012
10:05 pm

“……….Storms are here, Time to go out on the patio and watch………” TOMAHAWKIN’

Be certain to make it back after observing the inclement weather.

ppaddy123

February 29th, 2012
10:11 pm

Gee…………..The Braves now have their very own Ricky Williams “wanna’ be”

B_F52

February 29th, 2012
10:13 pm

Great read DOB I drive past Kerouac/s grave on the way to work every workday and like Gattis he is no longer “on the road” so to speak Now I can root for this kid and Constanza to beat the odds

VaBravesFan

February 29th, 2012
10:14 pm

The Braves will make Nick Swisher their top free agent target next offseason, according to ESPN’s Jim Bowden. Bowden suggests the Yankees could make an all-out push for Andre Ethier if Swisher does head to Atlanta.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

February 29th, 2012
10:20 pm

MiaBchBravesFan as long as you don’t stammer.

True… :)

banjovie

February 29th, 2012
10:23 pm

He and Hamilton deserve everyone rooting for them. Take it from a former meth addict, these guys have a very strong will. I hope he gets to the majors and crushes every ball he sees!!!!

extremus

February 29th, 2012
10:24 pm

Nice story, and it sounds like Gattis has a lot of potential. I wish him the best of luck making it to the MLB level and hopefully contributing to the Braves.

ChattTownBrian (CTB)

February 29th, 2012
10:30 pm

Gattis looks like Todd Pratt a little. Remember him?

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