• Emily Bondi

The Baseball Brotherhood

In picture from top left to bottom right Duncan Watt, Kellen Gursky, John Bondi and Ryan Greico

By: Emily Bondi

A unique bond between a group of athletes that share one common passion: baseball. It is a brotherhood that starts from the time you pick up your first glove and bat and it never goes away. Being a part of a team is a unique and special experience. Baseball is built on teamwork and communication. It is also a game of failure and success. Learning to navigate both emotions can be challenging, but the game of baseball teaches you to lean on your teammates and enjoy the ride.

Current baseball coach for the Toronto Mets and former player Duncan Watt says, “My favorite baseball memory would have to be putting the uniform on every day and going to battle with my brothers.”

Ryan Grieco is another athlete who has played baseball for roughly 15 years. He credits relationships as the most important thing baseball has given him. “I have met so many amazing people on my journey through high school and college baseball.”

Grieco had the opportunity to study and play baseball at Seton Hill University. He graduated in May 2019 and keeps in contact with his teammates. “I have never been on a team so committed to one goal. The morale was always upbeat and high energy, whether it was at practice or in games. My teammates and I still keep in touch almost every day.”

The game of baseball allows players to grow as individuals and as a team. You grow as an individual through the lessons you personally learn. As a team you learn how to deal with both positive and negative situations.

Former player John Bondi coaches at Team All American and works at the University of Pittsburgh. He considers baseball a brotherhood for many reasons. “You grow up with these guys and play with them your whole life. You grow close to each of them and love them through the ups and downs of playing baseball. Once you get to college it’s the same thing. You spend most of your days with the same guys. You eat, practice, lift, study and even live with your teammates. You grow close to each other and share that bond with them.”

Athletes coming together to achieve the common goal of winning can present challenges at times. Through the ups and downs, players find comfort knowing that they can rely on their teammates.

Kellen Gursky works for iHeartMedia in Pittsburgh and covers ESPN Pittsburgh and Steeler Nation radio. Gursky had his own unique experience with baseball and never forgets where he started. He reminisced, saying “I think that baseball is a brotherhood. I say that because the guys you play with will be guys that you’re never ever going to forget.”

“I still remember guys I played little league with, and that is the same through every level of baseball I’ve played. You become so close to the guys you practice with every day and the guys you go to war with everyday when it comes to playing actual games.”

Despite coming from different backgrounds, they all share one similar bond. The brotherhood of baseball never goes away and lives on with players forever. It is a unique experience for players of past and present to cherish.

For more Western Pennsylvania sports stories, you can find Emily Bondi on Twitter.