Keith Saarloos is Kirk Saarloos’s brother. He hates baseball. He has said that many times in his social media posts. He loves his brother and his family. He has said that many times as well. If you’re not following him on your favorite social media channel, you might want to give him a follow. Click here to find his pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The day after TCU’s season came to an end after that epic game in College Station against Texas A&M, Keith posted this emotional tribute to his brother. It is reprinted here with his permission:
By Keith Saarloos:
“Nearly every bone in his right hand was broken” I’ve read “A River Runs Through It” many, many times. I’ve watched the movie many times from the beginning just to hear that line.
Yesterday, I sat in the stands and watched my brother and his team play in the Texas summer heat. They played a double header. Runout has it that the catcher lost 12 pounds during the first game. Others changed their uniforms twice because they were so wet from the sweat pouring out of them.
They won the first game but had to be back on the field in less than three hours to play another.
As we approached the Texas A&M field, you could hear their crowd chanting. From half a mile away. The 12th man showed up in mass to cheer their home team.
I sat in the middle of the sea of red, bathing in the confrontation. Chatting with a couple of friends wearing the wrong color. Cheering for my brother and his team. I could feel the hate. I loved every moment.
For the next 5+ hours, I watched the greatest game of my life. A small ribbon of purple cheered as the TCU baseball team silenced a stadium. It was a Spartan-like effort by the team. 18 innings of baseball over 12 hours.
I watched these young men play with their hearts and their guts thrown all over that field. I saw my brother’s passion and style infect these young men.
Physically exhausted, yet passion was still pouring out of them faster than the sweat. They were playing a fresh team. And my brother was coaching the game of his life. I saw these men do things that they pulled out of themselves from dark deep places just so they would not let down the team.
At one point, I saw that my brother was playing like there wasn’t another game tomorrow if they won. And by the end of the game, there were only catchers standing in the bullpen. Everything was left on that field by each and every person.
My brother and I waved to each other from a distance as we headed home. As I sat in the tractor, I heard my father’s voice in my head.
“How did your brother do?”
“We lost,” I said.
“Is there anything else you can tell me?”
“Every bone in his hand was broken. He went down fighting.”
That’s my brother.
This is only his first year.
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