Gattis: The legend grows

Evan Gattis took Major League Baseball by storm in 2013. The 26-year-old hit 21 home runs and quickly became known for his story of redemption. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/David Goldman
AP Photo/David Goldman

The name Evan Gattis has taken on Herculean tones in Atlanta.

You probably know the story by now. Gattis gets into drugs in high school and gets out of baseball. Gattis works odd jobs during his early 20s. Gattis finally decides to give baseball another try in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Then, Gattis takes Major League Baseball by storm.

It’s been a fun ride for the man who seems to let nothing slow him down. Brian McCann returns from the disabled list and kicks him out of the starting catcher’s role? No problem. He’ll continue to be a force at the plate while playing decent left field. Jason Heyward returns from the disabled list, kicking him out of the outfield and back onto the bench? No biggie. Time to own the role of the best pinch-hitter on the team.

The Braves continue to win games in the final innings, which means if you’re a fan who hasn’t been to a game this season, it’s time to get your rear-end down to Turner Field to watch some of the fireworks. The credit belongs to Gattis yet again, who is racking up the clutch, late-inning heroics like it’s normal (and you can see the highlights here):

Saturday night: Down 1-0 to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the bottom of the eighth inning, Gattis steps to the plate and smacks a two-run homer, giving the Braves a lead they’d never relinquish.
Tuesday night: Trailing 4-3 to the Minnesota Twins with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Gattis hits a solo homer to tie the game and send it to extra innings. The Braves would eventually win the game 5-4.

He’s homered in three of his last four games, and he only got one at-bat in three of those four games. It’s a captivating sight — El Oso Blanco, as he’s known in Venezuela and now Atlanta, sans batting gloves, stepping in and delivering in the most pressure-filled moments.

That’s how a legend is made.

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