Evan Gattis, a 26-year old Atlanta Braves, rookie got dressed up in a polar bear costume in order to shoot an MLB Fan Cave video. After slugging 10 home runs in his first 37 Major League games — without batting gloves — Gattis has become something of a grassroots icon.
However, this polar bear took an extremely roundabout way to the Bigs. After graduating from high school in 2004 he was forced to abandon his scholarship to Texas A&M in order to go through drug and alcohol rehab. From there, he spent time working as a parking valet in Dallas, a pizza guy and then ski-lift operator in Boulder, a janitor back in Dallas, a ski resort employee in New Mexico, and then a Yellowstone employee in Wyoming before finally getting back into baseball in 2010.
He enrolled at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin and dominated before being drafted by the Braves in the 23rd round of the 2010 Draft. Three years later, here he is.
Of course, that’s the real story. If you want the Chuck Norris version of how the guy in the polar bear costume got to be such a folk hero so quickly, look no further than 680 The Fan, the Braves’ flagship radio station.
Wikipedia did not include the fact that he was raised by wolverines in the mountains of Tibet, that’s for sure.
[Audio via The Strike Zone]