When all eyes are going to be on college basketball for the start of the NCAA tournament, I am going to give you a break from all the hoopla! I watched Bishop Verot High School (BVHS) the last couple of nights. Their team is a powerhouse in baseball and currently undefeated at 10-0. I got to watch two excellently played ball games. They beat Eagles View Warriors, 8-0, on Tuesday night in a very dominating fashion. Followed by a win over the Cape Coral Seahawks, 3-0, last night. I ran into Bob Brennan at both games. We met at the SWFL Baseball fundraiser last Saturday night that my buddies, Bob and Todd, were hosting. (Quick note about BVHS; the daughter of a friend of mine, Julia, is currently a junior at the high school. Go Julia!)
Bob moved his family down to the Fort Myers area from Maine before his son’s freshman year at BVHS. Bob wanted his son, Bobby, to play with the best. After researching where the best high schools were for baseball, he settled on Bishop Verot. Bobby is currently a senior and the starting shortstop. He has signed a national letter of intent to play for the University of Maine. Perfect Game has him rated as a “high follow” and 270th nationally for his high school class.
Bob told me about their family “road trip” in 2010. In an RV, they went across the U.S. One of their goals was to play in a baseball game, or practice, in every state. If they saw a pick up game they would stop and ask if they could play. If there was a practice they would participate. He laughs when he told me about a family reunion in northern Minnesota. The people were a little surprised that they asked but they welcomed them to play. Afterwards, they were invited to stay for food and drinks. It was a black family reunion. Bob’s family stuck out but it didn’t matter, they had a great time. Bob just shook his head and said, “that is the beauty about this game, it brings people together.”
Bob said he “wasn’t a huge baseball fan.” He chuckled and thought hockey was more “his thing”. Even though, he really got into baseball because of his son after realizing how talented he was. Bob knew something was different about Bobby when at the age of two he caught him flipping back and forth between two baseball games on TV.
Their favorite team is the Boston Red Sox. Before they moved to South Florida he would take Bobby to one or two games a month. Bob is a Black Belt in karate and works out five days a week at his dojo to stay sharp. He also does a “baseball related” activity everyday. It might be taking Bobby to the batting cages or working on Bishop Verot’s baseball field. He says, “I do it for the kids”. He coaches for SWFL Baseball in Fort Myers, a select youth baseball team. Bob loves coaching, especially the kids that have come into his life and have evolved into great ball players. He told me he spends a lot of money on baseball yearly, “upwards of $10,000”. Bob said, “it is worth every penny since I have gotten to spend so much time with my son.”
Bob explains about the rich baseball history of the high school. Bobby played with Dan Vogelbach, a prospect with the Cubs, and Hudson Boyd, a prospect with the Twins, during his freshman year at Bishop Verot. Chris Johnson the starting third baseman for the Atlanta Braves also went to BVHS, along with a bunch of other MLB draft picks over the past 20 years. Click on the following link to watch a video Bob made about Bishop Verot 2011 State Baseball Champs, very nice team and video!
I want to wish Bobby all the luck in the world. I will definitely be keeping an eye on the Maine Black Bears next spring! Bobby has a rocket arm and good range at short, I was very impressed! Bishop Verot is an excellent baseball school in an area with a bevy of great teams. Bob, “I will be calling you when I get to Los Angeles, keep your enthusiasm and perspective for the game. I enjoyed talking to you!” Everyone please go to the link above and check out that video! I have been listening and I will try to keep the stories between 750 and 1000 words!
If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help http://www.baseballbuddha.com/sponsor.html . Please also share this on your Facebook page and Twitter, I appreciate all the help I can get!