The Cincinnati Reds were in Miami last week to play the Marlins so SNN’s Don Brennan had a chance to catch up with the Sarasota High School alum in the midst of his best season yet in the majors.
Last season, Gennett hit 14 homeruns for the Milwaukee Brewers, and they got rid of Rickie Weeks to make room for him, but then they got rid of Scooter, too.
“It was a weird day getting let go by the team that drafted me,” said Gennett prior to the second of 4 games in Miami. “It was a little different. They are type of team that doesn’t want to pay money for someone to sit on the bench, so I was gone.”
Things could not have worked out better for Gennett as he ended up with the team that he has loved since as far back as he could remember, the Cincinnati Reds.
“Yes, that was always his dream to play for Cincinnati,” explains his mom, Tina, who was in Miami for the games. “We spent many nights at the ballpark in Cincy. His favorite player was Barry Larkin, he had all his birthday cakes as a kid made with Reds logos. It was a dream come true for him.”
Scooter added, “It was tough saying goodbye to some of the guys who I played with for so long, but to come to the Reds and meet a new bunch of guys was cool. It was like the first day of school feeling.”
Then, in June, Scooter let everybody outside of Cincinnati and Sarasota with the epic 4 homer game, becoming only the 17th player in major league baseball history to accomplish that.
“It was a great night. Amazing. Not only for me, but to do it in front of my family, the fans, to do it in Cincinnati,” explains Scooter, who is hitting .305 with 18 homers and 60 RBI on the season. “To do it for the team I always dreamed of playing for was just, well, amazing!”
All of sudden, he was everywhere. Mentioned in sportscasts, plays of the week, doing interviews all over the globe, and now everyone wants his autograph.
“It was weird to see myself all over the TV,” laughs Scooter. “It was crazy to do interviews with Jim Rome, Dan Patrick, and all that other stuff. I enjoyed it for sure.”
It didn’t all begin here at Sarasota High School, but he put himself on the map with his play for the Sailors. He’s a grinder, a guy who has taken his talent and worked amazingly hard to get better at his craft.
“The journey has been unbelievable,” says Tina proudly. “From getting drafted out of high school to where he is today with what he has accomplished is just remarkable.”
“Anything’s possible,” says with a touch of whimsy. “For a guy like me, a player like me, to hit 4 homeruns in a game is unbelievable.”