For a minor league baseball player trying to make his way to the big leagues, Spring Training is very important. It's the time of the year when players can catch the attention of their coaches.
For Sherman native Chris Gittens, this was his first season at big league camp with the New York Yankees. Just when he started to show what he is capable of, COVID-19 shut down the season, but he is staying ready for baseball to return.
"We were wrapped up, and it was almost season time, then all of the sudden in came to a halt. It's hard to stay off it, and not think about it," said Gittens. "Just have to get back into it, whenever we do get back into it."
The Coronavirus can stop a lot of things, but it can't stop Gittens from working towards his dreams. He may not get to take the field, but he is doing anything he can to stay prepared.
"I load my backpack up as heavy as I can, and do body weight squats, lunges, high knees, sprints," said Gittens. "This morning I sprinted up the parking garage, I had ten reps, so I've just been doing that."
For Gittens, baseball is life. He played for the bearcats in high school, he continued on at Grayson, and he hasn't looked back since.
Last season he was the Eastern League MVP while playing for the Yankees Double-A affiliate, the Trenton Thunder. This year he made his debut at spring training, and was the first Yankees player to homerun in a game, so the future is looking bright for this Texoma native, whenever the season comes back.
"I'm just trying to grind. It's not bad. It feels like I'm in rookie ball. I'm just at home, just trying to find things to do. Seeing if anyone wants to meet up and hit somewhere. We know the six-feet rule. Just a pitcher and hitter, that would be fine with me."