Life Before Baseball for Brad Hand

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Baseball was not the only sport Brad Hand played growing up.

- It was always part of our family growing up. My-- my dad was a teacher and he coached a sport, you know, every season. He was coaching track, and basketball, and baseball. And he's in the Iowa Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame for all of his years there.

NARRATOR: Young Brad Hand, in constant motion, played whatever sport was in season.

LON HAND: My grandma described him once as having a lot of ginger. So he was-- he was full of energy and always doing something, playing with all kinds of kids, one sport to the next. So he was just very, very active.

BARB HAND: Hockey was like the first sport that he could do. I think it was at four. He could start doing that. And his sister was in sports. So he was like, well, I want to do a sport too.

LON HAND: He played center. So he led the team in goals and was a pretty productive guy in the middle, bigger than most of the kids, hockey players. So they used to park him in front of the net on the power play. And he had good hands and scored a lot of goals with the help of his teammates. That's for sure. They'd find the puck and get it to him.

- It was awesome. I mean hockey is one of the most exciting sports to play, I think. You know, growing up in Minnesota if you don't play hockey, you're kind of an outsider. So, you know, all my friends played hockey. And you know, some of them went on to play college hockey. And I followed them.

- Well, he flooded our backyard a couple winters just with a garden hose out there flooding it, and all the neighborhood kids would come over and skate. And it was fun.

NARRATOR: When spring would finally reach his hometown of Chaska, Minnesota, baseball was in season.

BARB HAND: And I did my part. I would stand in the batting cage and just stand there.

- The batter's box.

- Batter's box, and I quit when-- I don't know-- he was probably eighth or ninth grade when it was that curve-ball was getting a little scary. [LAUGHS]

- Probably around freshman-sophomore year baseball just started to take off even more. And like Barb said, he played hockey and football all the way through high school also. But baseball, the last few years, became the-- the passion.