By Soberinfo Staff Writer
Original Source: soberinfo.com
“Rags to riches” makes a nice story, and we love seeing the concept in a feel-good movie, but it never actually happens. Does it?
You might want to ask Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis about that. He has some inside information that might interest you. At one point, Gattis was a highly-recruited high school baseball sensation in his home state of Texas. A hometown-talent-turned-star, Gattis was poised to play for the Aggies of Texas A & M, accepting a scholarship offer from the perennial powerhouse.
However, Gattis’ dreams were sidetracked by a detour into alcohol and drug abuse. The divorce of his parents, coupled with the pressure he felt to make good on his college scholarship, resulted in Gattis making the decision to forego collegiate baseball and enter rehab.
After inpatient treatment and a stint in a halfway house, Gattis took one more stab at collegiate baseball, playing half a season with Seminole State College; he didn’t make it through his first season.
From there, life became a whirlwind for Gattis: he worked a hodgepodge of jobs, including parking cars, making pizzas, cleaning offices, and running a ski lift. There was a flirtation with suicidal ideation that landed him briefly in a psychiatric ward.
Then something clicked: Gattis got in touch with a series of spiritual gurus; their influence seemed to ground him, and suddenly he was ready to play again. At 24 years old, he walked on to the team at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. A year later, he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. By 2013, he was on a Major League roster, where the first hit of his career was (of course) a home run.
“I wanted to kill myself for a long time,” Gattis told USA Today about his darkest moments in 2007. It’s amazing that it was only six years from that depressive pit to the moment he watched the ball disappear over the left field fence.
Since that moment, Gattis has become a force; traded to the Houston Astros in 2014, he became an integral part of their 2017 World Series-winning team. When all his trophies are collecting dust, though, Evan Gattis hopes he’s more than just a baseball hero — he hopes others who struggle with depression and substance abuse see his roller-coaster career as proof that things can turn around:
“Maybe, when they know my story, they’ll see that there’s a way out.”