PHOENIX — The Gosewisch family knows a little about perseverance and a lot about thriving in pressure situations. The last few weeks have made that abundantly clear.
Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Tuffy Gosewisch made his major league debut in his ninth season of pro baseball in Texas on Thursday, supplying a lesson in mind over matter that any athlete would be advised to keep close.
Proud parents Goose and Nancy Gosewisch, who flew to Boston early Friday to watch Tuffy in a weekend series against the Red Sox, also have been quite involved with the D-backs recently.
The Gosewisches’ company, GNG Design, played a major role in the D-backs’ ongoing tribute to the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshots that has helped raise (through several avenues) more than $700,000 to support the families of the 19 firefighters killed in the Yarnell Hill fire near Prescott on June 30.
GNG Design produced the baseball caps that read “Prescott Fire Dept.” across the crown that the Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies wore in batting practice and pregame ceremonies on July 5, the D-backs’ first home game after the tragedy.
The caps were among the items auctioned off in a fundraiser — and the Gosewisches had a little over 24 hours to secure the 120 caps and find an embroiderer to do the stitching.
D-backs vice president Graham Rossini secured the licensing rights for the caps early July 3, and the Gosewisch team had them in place for batting practice on July 5. The suppliers worked long hours on the July 4 holiday to ensure the caps were ready.
“Those 24 hours were more satisfying than anything else,” said Goose Gosewisch, who was involved in the Arizona State baseball program for years while sons Chip and Tuffy played there.
Tuffy Gosewisch, 29, played with Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia for three years at ASU. He was promoted to the bigs when Miguel Montero was placed on the disabled list Thursday with a back strain.
Goose had some extra motivation in making sure the project succeeded. As the overseer of ASU’s Packard Stadium, he had befriended Mikey Weaver, an ASU student and a member of the summer firefighting crew in nearby Payson, the Payson Hotshots.
Scott Norris, who roomed with Weaver in Payson, was one of the firefighters who perished on Yarnell Hill. He was 28. Norris had transferred to the Granite Mountain Hotshot team two weeks before, and Weaver helped him move. One Prescott resident called Norris “a model of a young, ideal American gentleman” in the aftermath of the fire.