Kyle Schwarber has arrived.
After his game-tying and game-winning homers Tuesday night, the Cubs rookie catcher has trended in social media, led ESPN’s “Sportscenter” and has a game named after him.
But what do we really know about this overnight phenom?
Well, lets find out:
Growing up in Middletown, Ohio, Schwarber watched tape and tried to emulate Reds star Joey Votto, but his favorite player was infielder Pokey Reese, a lifetime .248 hitter with 44 home runs. Why the affinity for the light-hitting Reese?
As Schwarber told the Dayton Daily News: “I liked the name.”
Schwarber still has a special place in his heart for the Reds, recently referring to his favorite childhood team as “we.”
Baseball over football
Schwarber went undrafted in baseball after high school. In fact, he excelled at football and made the Ohio all-state team at linebacker. His final game in the 2010 state playoffs didn’t go so well, though—a 21-0 loss to Wayne led by Ohio State QB Braxton Miller.
Likes to hunt
During the offseason, Schwarber enjoys hunting. Here he’s seen with former Cubs pitcher Kent Mercker, who is now an agent.
Kyle’s great-great grandfather, Otto, was born in Baden, Germany, and emigrated to Cincinnati.
Dad was a police chief
Schwarber’s dad, Greg, was a 32-year police veteran in Middletown and Germantown, Ohio. Upon retiring, he related this crazy story to the Journal-News in Ohio:
One of his first calls involved a fight on the levee near First Avenue that turned out to be an armed robbery. Schwarber said he found a man bleeding from the head after three men had knocked him in the head with a gun and taken his money. Schwarber said he got the man — who was drunk — into the front seat of his cruiser and began checking the area. Not far away he spotted the suspects’ vehicle at a stop sign. The passenger door was open, and one of the men was standing outside with his hands inside his trench coat. I’m trying to dispatch (my location) and that the suspects are armed but the victim was yelling in the background ‘There they are! There they are!’ he said. He covered up what I said. Dispatch was unable to reach Schwarber or get information on his location. He held the three men at gunpoint and frantically ordered the suspect outside the car to show his hands. Meanwhile, the victim was trying to get past Schwarber with his cane to get a piece of these guys. In the midst of the tension, several neighbors decided to cross directly in front of Schwarber’s drawn gun, between himself and the suspects, despite shouts for everyone to stay back. They were looking at me like this was a scene from a movie, Schwarber laughed. Then the victim picked up Schwarber’s microphone and slurred their location to dispatchers, adding this guy needs some help down here, Schwarber recalled. And they sent the whole world, thank God! Schwarber said. As it turned out, three guns were recovered from the vehicle as well as the victim’s money. While he looks at the situation as comical now, Schwarber said it easily could have become deadly. That is probably the closest I ever came to shooting someone — other than myself, he said.
Yes, he did shoot himself. You can read that here.
Like father, like …
His mom (nurse) and dad (police officer) rubbed off on him. A quick glance at Schwarber’s timeline tells you he’s about giving back and helping the community.
Not like father …
While Kyle is quite active on Twitter and shows some tech savvy, his father … well.