Houston Astros catcher and designated hitter Evan Gattis’ journey to becoming a World Series champion is as unconventional as it is inspiring.
Gattis played in 84 regular season games in 2017 -- 48 at catcher, 29 as a designated hitter and appearing as a pinch-hitter in seven more -- and batted .267 in 13 postseason games.
Before that, he was a heralded rookie with the Atlanta Braves in 2013. He spent two solid years there before being dealt to Houston.
But his story before the majors is an incredible one.
Gattis grew up in Forney and was a standout player at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas before receiving a scholarship to Texas A&M.
He never made it to College Station.
In 2006, he decided to step away from the game. Soon after, he was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, according to USA TODAY Sports.
In the summer of 2007, he even contemplated ending his life.
"I was in a mental hospital," he told USA TODAY Sports in 2013. "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."
A three-and-a-half-year personal journey took him to Colorado, where he flipped pizzas and worked as a ski lift operator, according to the New York Times. He then moved back to his home state, where he worked as a janitor for commercial cleaning company Jan-Pro in Dallas.
Evan Gattis went from a janitor to a World Series champion in a little under a decade. Incredible. pic.twitter.com/3PGypl1N0y— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) November 2, 2017
His journey to self-discovery also took him to California and New Mexico, according to the Times.
He returned to baseball in 2009, playing Division-II baseball at UT-Permian Basin, and eventually earned a $1,000 signing bonus with the Braves in 2010, per USA TODAY Sports.
Gattis, who hadn’t played at a level any higher than AA, made the Braves roster in 2013 as a fill-in for then-Braves teammate and current Astros teammate Brian McCann, who was injured at the time.
All he’s done in the five years since is bat .252 with 114 home runs and 332 RBI in 578 career games.
And now he’s got a World Series championship to top it all off.
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