A key player who helped the Houston Astros clinch their first-ever World Series win on Wednesday took a different route to the major leagues than the rest of his teammates. Most of them went straight from high school to college on full scholarships. But it’s a story that just goes to show, taking the traditional route isn’t necessarily the only way to get to where you ultimately want to be.
The Astros’ backup catcher and pinch hitter from Forney, Texas, Evan Gattis, was, in fact, offered scholarships to play at both Rice University and Texas A&M. But fear of failure kept him back, and instead of enrolling and playing at the collegiate level, he instead entered a rehab program to deal with substance abuse and mental health issues.
In 2005, he gave baseball one more shot while enrolled at Seminole Junior College in Oklahoma. But one day, he “looked me in the eye and he said, ‘I don’t want to talk baseball anymore, I’m done,’” his father, Jo Gattis, recalled.
Dropping out of the college scene altogether, Evan traveled the country and worked menial jobs ranging from parking attendant and valet to ski lift operator and janitor.
“Vacuum offices that needed vacuuming, sinks and bathrooms, knock those out,” he said during a visit to one of the offices he once cleaned. “They told us it was like an eight-hour job, but we’d do it in like, you know, an hour, hour and a half.”
But after a bout of homelessness in New York City, and a spiritual quest that took him all the way to California, he called his stepbrother Drew Kendrick. His brother heard the words that he and the rest of the family had longed to hear for the last three years: “I’m ready to play again.”
To hear more about this incredibly inspiring rags-to-riches story, click on the video below. Share to spread more inspiration!