Legends On Deck

Evan Gattis Is Coming Home Again

Evan Gattis

Who is Evan Gattis?

The fans watching him play the last two seasons with the Braves see a career .253 average hitter with 43 HR, 117 RBI, and just shy of 200 hits. Solid hitting catcher. The man to replace Brian McCann.

To scouts, he’s a talented player with solid power, but strikes out a lot, needs to improve his OBP, and be able to stay healthy for a full season. To those watching him play high school baseball; he was one of the premier players in the entire North Texas region.

What a lot don’t know about him is he’s a survivor. Plagued with personal demons that battle with his mind every day, and even almost taking his life once. He’s an inspiration as much as he is a survivor and talented baseball player. A story that many should hear.

Born in Dallas, TX in 1986; Gattis attended various high schools in the Dallas area in order to play for specific coaches. During this time span he was one of the top high school baseball players in Texas, in a pool that also included future mega-star Clayton Kershaw. Gattis accepted a scholarship to Texas A&M to be their catcher (his favorite position). He seemingly had the way carved out to become a big league ball player.

Gattis parents divorcing each other and his fear of failing at collegiate baseball led to major anxiety and depression issues, coupled with the beginning of a substance abuse problem that was used to escape the mental torment he suffered. He didn’t attend college and instead, his mother took him to a 30 day inpatient stay at a hospital near by.

After his stint there, Gattis would go on to Prescott, Arizona; where he had three months of outpatient therapy while living in a half-way house. Gattis did end up going to college afterwards, he enrolled at Seminole State College in Seminole, Oklahoma and redshirted as a freshman on the baseball team. While playing for half a season in 2006, he hurt his knee and became burned out with playing ball, and quit it (as well as college) all together.

For the next four years, Gattis wandered around the western United States, working various jobs, and learning life’s tough lessons. Being away from his family and friends, as well as being a drifter; Gattis got deeply depressed and in 2007, tried to end his life. The depression had brought back his substance abuse problems and anxiety (which depression will do). He checked himself into a psychiatric ward for three days, where he was diagnosed with clinical depression and an anxiety disorder. They released him into the care of his father and he stayed with him for seven months in Colorado. He would then find his way back to Dallas and live with his brother.

In Dallas, Gattis met a New Age Spiritual guru who really spoke to him. For the first time, Gattis felt connected to something that could really help him in his struggles. This guru ended up moving to Taos, New Mexico and Gattis followed him. For the next three months, he would continue to learn and become more spiritually enlightened. The depression and anxiety were losing their control on him (a major turning point for someone with clinical depression). Wanting to learn more and grow further, he continued his journey and ended up in California; where he connected with more spiritual gurus.

In 2010, Evan Gattis made his return to baseball, a new man. Standing taller and better than ever, ready to conquer anything thrown in his path. He attended college at the University of Texas-Permian Basin. He played baseball there for one season and put up monster numbers. The Atlanta Braves drafted him in the 23rd round that year. The dream of playing pro baseball was reignited and back alive. He made his big league debut in 2013 and his first hit was a home run in his first at-bat against future hall of famer Roy Halladay. Gattis had come full circle and was finally living the moment he could only have dreamed before.

Everyone loves a good comeback story. Evan Gattis’s ranks up there with the best of them. Even in his darkest moments and days, he always found that spark within him to never give up, and to keep on fighting. Anyone who gets a strong hold over the tenacious grip clinical depression can bring should be highly commended and respected. It’s a battle mainly fought alone. Many fail and fall. He found his solice, and his recovery is an inspiration to all who suffer clinical depression.

A couple of months ago, Gattis was traded to the Houston Astros. Putting the stamp on a successful comeback, and a glorious return back home. And there is no greater feeling than that.

(Featured Photo Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)

(Content Photo: ESPN.com)

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Former Writer

Former Writer

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