Several of the Colorado Rockies who will take the field today (and every day during the season) will do it with not only the eyes of thousands of fans on them, but also will be playing under the watchful eye of their children.
On Father’s Day, it’s a good reminder that the players we cheer (and sometimes grumble about) are also human beings with families and hopes and dreams for their own children … just like many of us.
Here are what three Colorado Rockies pitchers told me about balancing baseball and fatherhood.
It was earlier this month when a video of Austin Gomber’s 2-year-old son was posted on TikTok by Rachel Gomber, Austin’s wife. Crying as he watched his dad leave for a road trip, it was a reminder to all of us of the human side of the game that the Rockies leave behind when they hit the road.
I asked Gomber about the video and how he separated his job from being a dad.
“I think being a dad has helped me as a baseball player just being able to separate the two,” Gomber said. “It’s almost like two separate lives. Obviously traveling and some of the road trips are not ideal but, when we’re here, it’s fairly easy to, good or bad, drive home, just forget about what happened in the game, and transfer into dad mode.”
Gomber said that, for him, it’s critical to be able to focus on who he needs to be for his son.
“Sometimes when you’re struggling, it’s just like you never get your head out of that space and you’re always thinking about it” he said. “Now, having a kid, you don’t even have that opportunity. You have so much other stuff going on, so I think it’s been good for me.”
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For fellow starter Antonio Senzatela, his 3-year-old son firmly embraces his dad’s teammates, often changing it up on which Rockies player he wants to be that day.
“He loves baseball like me. He comes to the ballpark every day to watch me play and that’s very nice for me,” Senzatela said. “He usually tells me he wants to be like Charlie (Blackmon), (Trevor) Story, (Raimel) Tapia. You know, I go home and he asks me who hit a home run today. I’ll say Charlie and he’ll be like, ‘OK, I hit it like Charlie now.’ That will make my day.”
Senzatela said FaceTime has become a big part of his relationship with his son and a way for him to stay connected on road trips, and that’s a technology that Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez uses to keep in touch with his almost-2-year-old daughter from the road. However, his daughter has made it clear that when dad leaves for a road trip, she is going to make sure he knows she isn’t happy about it.
“She gets mad with me,” Estevez chuckled. “I will try to FaceTime with her but she doesn’t want to talk to me. It’s funny, but it’s kind of rough as well.”
Estevez beamed when he talked about the “quality time” he gets to spend with his daughter in the morning when the two are together, and that included on a recent road trip when his family joined him in Miami.
“Sometimes she doesn’t want breakfast unless it’s with me and things like that, and those things are great,” Estevez said. “Having a daughter gets you out of your routine and doing new stuff every day, and that’s a good thing.”