It’s that time of year there is a buzz in the air with football coming to a close the next sport is on deck. Baseball at the high school level starts after school workouts on January 26th and they will be practicing and playing their games on Yovani Gallardo Field. The same Yovani Gallardo who took the field same as them some years ago under direction and encouragement of Coach Frick with hopes and dreams of someday playing in the big leagues. With support from Coach Frick, others including his now wife Patricia Gallardo, and a lot of hard work Yovani made those dreams come true. The former MLB All Star still has a date he has to report, MLB pitchers and catchers report to camp February 13th and this year he will be returning to the Milwaukee Brewers in hopes of returning to that All Star status.
As an athletic trainer, I know home support and having a supportive spouse is everything with the long hours I put in. That is why I really didn’t need to look any further that Yovani and Patricia Gallardo as Trimble Tech’s Alumni Couple Watch. I reached out to Mrs. Gallardo asking if it would be alright with them if we could honor them with this honor and of course they said yes. I’ve met Yovani numerous times here at Tech at the alumni game and even played catch, at the time, with his very young son. Yovani was and still is someone who is very humble and gives his time back to the Fort Worth community and his fans. One time in particular, Yovani was at the alumni and word got to the softball field where there was games going on and two entire teams went running over to see him. He took his time making sure to say hello to all of them and take unknown number of pictures. Both Yovani and Patricia are some kind and simply wonderful people, the following are the questions I sent them to get to know them a little bit better. The few times I have met Yovani the best way I can describe him is almost a gentle giant who is soft spoken which folds nicely into the information below. This paragraph is straight from Patricia Gallardo and I think it speaks volumes.
“I don’t think he gives himself enough credit for everything he has accomplished! Can’t really express or put into worlds how proud I am of him! Married almost 13 years we basically grew up together! Meeting this boy watching him become a Man. A father. It hasn’t always been easy but it sure has been worth it. I sat him down and told him to pretend I was interviewing him and he didn’t know me lol I hope you get some good information and kids who look up to him see where he came from and where he made it and realize everything and anything is possible really! With hard work and dedication.”
Upon asking them how they met, “We met through mutual friends.” It was Patricia’s freshman year at 14 and he Yovani’s as a sophomore at 15. That says a lot about the pair of them that they are still together after all those years.
And was there a favorite teacher? This answer did not surprise me at all.
“His baseball coach. Coach Frick he always believed in him. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple years after he graduated and never got to see him make it to the majors.”
I came to Tech in the fall of 2004, I believe Patricia’s senior year and had the fortune of working with Coach Frick for a couple years before he passed. Knowing Coach Frick I know he is still looking down from above with that great smile he had super proud of everything he has and will accomplish in his MLB career.
What other sports and organizations were yall a part of?
“He did wrestling one year his freshman year, I didn’t even know this. Yovani played soccer 3 years although not his senior year. That’s when he started focusing in baseball. Played baseball all four years. With coach Frick as his coach all four years. I played volleyball and softball. We were both in the Spanish club with Coach Cruz.”
When scouts started showing up, what was Yovani thinking?
“He says it was pretty cool to see all those scouts showing up just to see him pitch.”
I asked the question if he wished he had gone to college or if he was happy the way things turned out? “He actually had a full scholarship to play baseball for TCU. Once he was drafted in the second round straight out of H.S he knew he had to go for it and not live with the what if’s. Thankfully, he thinks it all worked out!”
What is the feeling having baseball field you played on named after you?
“Very humbled and honored!”
This is one of those questions, we all ask why sports reporters are asking this question, but what were the worst times as baseball player?
“Minor leagues where hard. Between the long hour bus rides for travel games sometimes 10 hour plus long. Baseball season is a long one. Hate that he misses out on so much back at home especially with his kids. As big or small something might be. Birthdays/taking to school or picking up/ their baseball games etc. The times he was injured where probably the worst. Being in the stands seeing him hurt. When he tore his acl.”
What has been the best times as baseball player?
“MLB debut of course. Knowing I made it to the MLB!”
How many more years would like to play? Looking at it now another one of those dumb questions I am sure Yovani has answered in every interview.
“As long as I can. I think I’ll know when the time comes.”
Favorite career moment?
“Making All-Star team. Pitching for national team. Being able to represent and play for team Mexico in the world classic.”
Finally, when you do retire, what are the plans?
“None. Enjoy my kids/family time. Eventually of course doing something within baseball.”
I want to thank Yovani and Patricia both for their time in allowing to pry into their family time just a little as it is valuable. For a couple to still thrive and be part of the MLB world is awesome. On behalf of Trimble Tech, it is on honor to say that Yovani and Patricia Gallardo are the Alumni Couple for the month of February. We wish Yovani all the best this upcoming season, except when the Brewers play the Rangers.
The Trimble Tech Bulldogs do take the field Friday to get ready for their season which opens up at Brewer February 6th before the Annual Alumni game is held at Yovani Gallardo Field Saturday February 10th at 12:00 noon.