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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Athlete's journey from drifter to MLB

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Evan Gattis photo
Rookie power hitter had a two-run homer in the Braves' 6-4 victory over Pirates Thursday.

By Clark Howard


I'm not a big baseball guy, but I was recently inspired by Evan Gattis and his amazing human story I read about in The New York Times.

The Atlanta Braves catcher showed great promise for the game in high school, but didn't get it together in college and became a drifter. He left both school and the game to work odd jobs: Ski lift operator, janitor, pizza maker. He also had a battle with substance abuse.

Now he's a starter in MLB at 26. His is a story of hitting lows and then getting it together. He's apparently playing for $370,000, which is the rookie minimum. That's a long way from drifting!

There are times we fall off a path. You may feel like that. We don't know if Gattis' story through the decades will stay bright or dim again. But the point is life is many, many rounds.

My dad used to say life is 99 rounds. If you have a bad one and get knocked out, you have to get back up and get back in the ring.

Life has difficult moments. Some are self-imposed, other times they're imposed on you. It's so important you do what you can to overcome adversity. That may mean creating your own opportunities.

You gotta just get back in there. Put in your mouthpiece and get back in the game!