Neshek rejoins team two days after baby son’s passing
A’s righty reliever Pat Neshek is here in Detroit, just two days after the sudden passing of his 1-day-old son, Gehrig. Neshek was kind enough and very brave to speak to a small handful of reporters on Friday and said he and his wife, Stephanee, are overcome by the support they’ve received.
Neshek says his son’s birthday “was probably the best day I ever had, the one day. I’d go through it all again just for that one day. It was pretty awesome.”
Just heartbreaking. Here’s more from Neshek:
On his decision to be here:
It was tough. We were locked up in the house and you can sit there all day. It was kind of what I imagine hell is like. But seeing a lot of support from the guys and other players around baseball and guys I’ve played with and fans of baseball was really helping us. If nothing else, we kind of wanted to do it in my son’s honor, to come here and do this.
On his wife, Stephanee, also coming to Detroit:
She loves baseball, and that was the tough this with this year, was she made a lot of sacrifices to stay back in Florida. When you’re pregnant you can’t fly and all, so that was the first thing she said was, ‘I need to get out of here and go watch some baseball.’ I was fine with whatever she wanted. I just wanted to be by her to get through this.
On the feeling of being here:
Really good. I’m sure she feels good too. When I got on the bus I saw a lot of the guys and I texted her saying, ‘It feels really good, actually.’ I kind of questioned it at first, but I know it’s the right decision.
On how he’s holding up:
I’m good, ya know, I got out there and started playing catch and it all comes back to you right away. It really takes your mind off all of the bad stuff. I think it’s a very good way of healing up a little bit and trying to get past it.
On the support streaming in:
It was hard, because we had the baby and put a lot of pictures up, and I went home and was watching the game and she stayed back [at the hospital] and I got a call about the fifth inning, and she said, ‘The baby stopped breathing.’ That was really hard. We sat all night. We didn’t know what to do, because people were sending us texts of congratulations and stuff and that really hurt. I put that up on Twitter and Facebook, and it was pretty amazing, just what talking with friends and talking with complete strangers, how much of that helps the grieving process. I don’t think we’ll ever get over it. This really helps. It’s a good way to start putting the pieces back together.
On the cause of his son’s death:
We’re going to have an autopsy. … We never found out and an hour later they were saying, ‘Do you want to bury your son?’ It’s hard to process any of it. We’ll get through it. And, like I said, this really helps. We’re a big baseball family, and my parents thought this was a great decision, my wife recommended it, and I just feel so much myself here.