By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
There isn’t anything about baseball that Eric Geddes doesn’t like.
It starts with simply being outside for the Garfield G-Men junior standout.
Once there, the game guides him to a perfect blend of intensity and relaxation.
It didn’t always used to be that way, though.
As an underclassmen, Geddes would regularly find himself tense when the moments got big.
To his credit, it never impacted his performance.
Last season, as a sophomore, Geddes led the G-Men in nearly every offensive category, including a .390 batting average, 25 hits, seven doubles, 24 RBI, 22 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.
Geddes is well on his way to duplicating those numbers again this year, but at the same time, he is a different player.
A balanced player in both physical ability and mental stability.
He has begun to analyze the game from a cerebral perspective that has joined his tireless work ethic and passion, allowing Geddes to walk onto the field as a confident, grounded leader that understands that baseball is not a game that can measure success from a single outcome.
Though, even if that were the case, Geddes would be OK there, too, considering how rarely he fails to deliver for the G-Men.
“Eric is just one of those kids that loves baseball and that is rare nowadays,” Garfield head coach Mike Paes said. “He is a pleasure to be around and seems to never have bad days. He is a great kid, as well, and is respectful to the game and to everyone around him.
“I always stress to enjoy the game and have fun doing it, and he takes it to heart,” Paes added.
Paes has challenged his team to prepare mentally and introduced a weekly “Mental Monday” to his team, which is designed to slow them down and force them to think abou the sport from a different place, then demonstrates how it can be applied to the field.
“It is all about staying calm and doing your job,” said Geddes, who has a lot of jobs on the diamond.
Geddes is as versatile of a player as you will ever come across.
He is the team’s ace on the mound, and he can play virtually every infield and outfield position. Last year, when the team’s starting catcher injured his thumb, it was Geddes that suited up to take over behind the plate.
Whatever it takes, Geddes is there.
“Eric is pretty laid back and someone who leads by example,” Paes said. “He is a jokester that is always keeping the mood laid back and making sure people are having fun, but he always takes the game very seriously.”
It is part of his personality and a reflection of how he views his place in the bigger picture of Garfield athletics.
“We have a great school and an awesome community,” said Geddes, who is the son of Larry and Kerri Geddes. “Everyone likes everyone and everyone knows everyone. We are all friends, and I love playing for the G-Men.”
It is an approach Paes appreciates, and he knows he is coaching a player that is increasingly rare — in both ability and passion.
“There are not a lot of kids that love baseball anymore, but he truly does.”
Then again, there are not many players like Geddes.
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