TAMPA, Fla. – Baseball is fun and so is winning.
Danny Gutcher is trying to bring a little of both from the Savannah Bananas back to the University of Tampa Spartans.
Last summer, the catcher had a chance to play with the famous summer team where they won the Coastal Plain League while dancing on the field.
An unforgettable experience for the university athlete.
“It was a little overwhelming going into it, just the atmosphere,” said the grad student. “But once you kind of buy in and get used to things, it was probably the most fun I’ve had playing baseball and we were good at the same time.”
Baseball’s long seasons are not always blue skies and sunshine.
“It was nice to see the fun come back to baseball because it can get a little serious at times.”
Gutcher feels it is important to have reminders that show him where the enjoyment comes from.
“You have to really put things into perspective to really understand why you’re here while you’re doing this,” said the Gaither High School (Hillsborough County, Fla.) product. “That kind of helps me bring the fun back … if I’m in a slump or something.”
The Tampa native has never really left home, having previously played for both Eckerd College and University of South Florida.
This season has not only about fun, but its also been successful hitting for a .304 batting average with 4 home runs, 17 runs batted in and 13 runs.
Don’t forget about the three stolen bases that the backstop had.
“If people ask about my stats, that’s usually the first one I bring up,” said the Spartans’ player. “Last year I had 14 stolen bases and as a catcher, (people) don’t really anticipate that.”
This might not be the go-to stat for the 2023 season having hit three homers in one game.
“It was really the next day when I was like I just hit three home runs in the game,” said the right-handed hitter. “I looked at the Spartans’ school record, (I’m) with one of our assistants Jose Jimenez, (who also) has a three-home run game.”
Gutcher and the team are playing well and have high aspirations for the season. “We’re doing well at 20-4 so far this season, so it’s been fun all around,” said the ballplayer. “I couldn’t really ask for anymore.”