“Dude, that’s unbelievable.”
That’s what Atlanta Braves bullpen catcher Alan Butts said one day in response to Evan Gattis‘ story of depression and near-suicide.
Gattis, a baseball phenom, talked about enduring three days of torment in 2007 when he wanted to end his life. In an interview with USA Today Sports he said,
“I was in a mental hospital. I couldn’t sleep for an entire week, and I knew something was wrong with me. So I got admitted. I was so depressed, all I could think about was killing myself. I wanted to kill myself for a long time.”
Gattis made it through that dark period, and through counseling, medication is back on track doing what he loves.
Alan Butts says people are wowed by him:
“Now, everywhere we go, you see other teams stop what they’re doing to watch him take BP and say, ‘Who is this kid?'”
This “kid” is 26-years-old and worked as a janitor for years before he realized what he wanted to do. Baseball. The funny story here is, he was just supposed to be a fill-in for Brian McCann who was in recovery from injury, but he was good! According to USA Today Sports Gattis homered four times in his first eight major league games, leads all National League rookies in homers (six), RBI (14) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) (.847) and, Gonzalez says, should stick with the club even when McCann returns in the next 10 days.
He’s staying. In fact the Braves have built their marketing around Gattis for their home series this week with the words, “The Nats are coming to town. Time to show some #Gattitude.” and his jersey is the number one seller in Braves gift shops.
It’s funny how life changes. Now a guy who once had no plans to live, is now the center of plans for team. His life went from a nightmare to a dream.
“Crazy, huh?” Gattis says.
Yes, Evan. Crazy beautiful!
Your Jersey Girlfriend,