Conrad Gregor sent a special thank you to his parents for making a five-hour drive to see him play baseball this weekend: He launched a home run that led his team to a comeback win — and his father caught the baseball after it soared over the right-field wall.
"It's a little unbelievable," Gregor tells the Quad-City Times in Iowa, "but I'm glad my parents were here to see it and when I got back to the dugout, I heard he made a pretty good catch."
The against-all-odds moment came at Quad Cities' Modern Woodmen Park, where Gregor plays for the River Bandits. With his team down 2-1 in the sixth inning, Gregor launched a three-run homer over the fence, where his father was standing.
Marty Gregor gathered the ball in with a nifty over-the-shoulder basket catch. As it came down, the baseball narrowly eluded another fan's grasp.
The Gregors celebrated — the son as he rounded the bases, and his father as he held up the ball in the stadium that sits on the Mississippi River. It's safe to say Marty Gregor felt more pride than most fans do when they nab a homer; it was the first his son has hit this season.
"He may have to watch every game from out there," said Conrad Gregor, 22.
The Gregors had driven five hours from their home in Carmel, Ind., to watch their son play during the holiday weekend.
The River Bandits are a Class A affiliate of the Houston Astros. For a sense of where Gregor is in his career, we turn to MILB:
"Gregor was selected by the Astros in the fourth round of last year's draft out of Vanderbilt University. In his first crack at pro ball, he hit .289 with four homers and 35 RBIs in 74 games with short-season Tri-City, helping ValleyCats win the New York-Penn League championship.
"He's batting .307 with a homer and 27 RBIs in 42 games in his first full season in the minors."