One way or another, a Snitker will win the World Series.
The Atlanta Braves will take the field under the eye of manager Brian Snitker, a baseball lifer who's reached the World Series at last. The Houston Astros will take swings under the tutelage of Troy Snitker, the team's hitting coach and Brian's son. Baseball's a fathers-and-sons sport, but rarely at the most elite level.
"I don't think it's anything we ever even dreamed of," Troy said Monday. "To be in the big leagues at the same time while he's a major-league manager and I'm in the big leagues here, just that alone would be very special. Past our wildest dreams to get to this point to both win the pennant and get the face-off, it's something that we never could have dreamed of as a family."
Brian Snitker has managed in the Braves organization since 1982, rising methodically and continuously through the ranks all the way from A ball to the majors. That's tough on a family, but the Snitker crew hung together through it all. Troy — born in 1988, when his dad was the bullpen coach for the big-league club — rode along, serving as clubhouse attendant and bat boy as his father chased the baseball dream across the Southeast.
"It was always a family affair," Brian recalled, "Troy at batboy and [taking] care of the umpires and working the clubhouse. I'd go home after games, and the clubhouse guy would bring him home two hours later."
The Braves drafted Troy, a promising college ballplayer, in 2011, and he caught for multiple teams in the lower reaches of the Braves organization. The big club dealt him to the Pirates organization in 2013, and after suffering a concussion, Troy retired prior to the 2014 season. He knew he wanted to remain in baseball, but he wanted to make his own way without his father's help.
"He didn't want me to do anything," Brian said. "He knew the Braves would hire him or Dayton [Moore, the Kansas City general manager with deep Atlanta ties] would if he did something with the Royals. He sent out all the letters. He taught himself Spanish through the Rosetta Stone and was attracted to the Astros."
The time spent in ballparks together all those years ago paid off. Brian imparted lessons learned from 44 years in baseball to his son, and Troy modeled himself on his father. The results are obvious.
"I love the fact that he's meshed because I raised him in a dugout, on a bus, on the field a long, long time ago before analytics were ever invented," Brian said. "I think he's a good blend of the old-school way of doing things and he's very open and gets all the new information that's out there. I think it's a good mix."
"He has so many positive qualities about him, but he's always the same guy no matter whether they're winning or losing, he takes the same mindset to the field every day," Troy said of his father. "He's been through so much in his career … there were plenty of times where he could have easily decided to go do something else, but he stuck with it. I'd say his hard work is the biggest thing that I try to emulate with him."
Right now, the Snitker family is working out how to figure a way to show love for both teams — split jerseys, jersey-and-hat combos, that kind of thing. "My dad's getting the tickets," Troy said. "I told him he's on the hook for that."
As for pregame conversation? Not happening. "I'm not going to pick his brain about that or do that to him or anything," Brian said. "Quite honestly, [Tuesday night] at 7:09 or whatever, he's going to want to kick my ass."
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jaybusbee or contact him at [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article