Coach loses baby-naming bet with his baseball team – USA TODAY
In an attempt to motivate his baseball team, Coach Querry offered his high school players the chance to name his baby if they won their season. They came through with 14 wins and they chose an epic name!
PALM BAY, Fla. — Julia Querry sent 4-year-old Brady onto the field after a Heritage High baseball game to show her husband, Rob, a blue baseball inscribed with “It’s a Boy.”
For Rob Querry, the Panthers head coach, it was his wife’s announcement to him about the gender of their second child, due in September.
For his team, it was the second step in a process the coach had begun with a comment he made to his players early in the season. Call it motivation.
“If we win 14 games, I’ll let you name my kid.”
A pickle, in baseball terms, occurs when a player gets caught between bases with little chance of making it safely to one or the other.
When Querry made his offer of naming rights to his second child in exchange for 14 wins, maybe it wasn’t a realistic scenario. A year ago, the first-year Panthers head coach led his team to a 9-16 record. He was the third coach in three years for the still-fledgling program that has never won more than half its games.
Fourteen wins would assure the elusive winning season, so maybe it was more safe bet than risk.
That motivation was all the team needed. On April 5, Heritage High’s baseball team guaranteed itself a winning season with an 8-1 win, but it also earned a guarantee from coach Rob Querry and wife Julia. Their son will take the name chosen by the Panthers themselves: Benjamin Smalls Querry.
It combines the names of two characters in one of the group’s favorite baseball movies, “The Sandlot.” In the film, lead character Scotty Smalls shows the boys on his neighborhood team a ball signed by Babe Ruth. The most talented player is Benjamin Rodriguez, and the movie takes off when the signed baseball is lost over the fence of a neighborhood hermit with a fearsome dog.
Julia, the mom, drew a roar from the team when she announced in the post-game celebration, “Oh, I’m doing it.”
Senior first baseman Michael Archer insisted the team isn’t finished reaching goals.
“We’re just getting started,” he said. “We plan on going further than we have before. We’ve been working hard, grinding together.”
They’ve also been giving interviews and enjoying more exposure than the average high school baseball team.
“This is something these kids will be talking about for the next 50 years,” Heritage athletics director Greg McGrew said. “It sure has added a lot of excitement around here.”
Even the writer of “The Sandlot” was rooting for Benny Smalls Querry. When screenwriter David Mickey Evans heard about coach Querry’s challenge, he just had to meet them. “I guess I’ve had some small contribution in naming his new son. I guess he can call me Uncle Dave now,” Evans joked. “That someone would actually name one of their children after a character in my movie … it’s definitely one for the ages. This has never happened before.”
Julia Querry, not yet fully sold on the name, admitted one advantage of accepting the recommendation would be the eventual ease of answering the boy’s curiosity.
“When he asks how he was named, I’ll just tell him to Google it.”
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