HUNTSVILLE, Alabama Jay Gibbons spent nine years in the major leagues. For some players, that would be enough. Not for Gibbons.
The 35 year old Gibbons spent seven years with the Baltimore Orioles jerseys and two years with the Los Angeles Dodgers jerseys before being released last season.
“I’m just like any other veteran ballplayer that had a good taste of the big leagues and still hungry to get back,” said Gibbons, who is playing left field for the Huntsville Stars in hopes of working his way back to the majors. “I didn’t like the way my season ended last year, so I thought I would give it another try. Milwaukee gave me a call and here I am.”
Gibbons entered last season as the Dodgers jerseys’ starting left fielder, but struggled mightily.
He had had eye surgery during the offseason and things didn’t go well. Gibbons batted just .255 with one home run and five RBI in 24 games.
“I dealt with that all year long and I had another eye surgery and it left a bad taste in my mouth,” he said.
Gibbons was actually released by the Brewers jerseys in spring training, but was resigned to a minor league deal on April 25.
“My goal is not to be in Huntsville, but I’m just trying to make the best of it while I’m here,” he said. “I still feel like I can do it. That’s why I’m here.”
The 6 0, 195 pounder is hitting .333 through 15 games with the Stars. He has five doubles and seven RBI.
“It’s a grind every day as far as your swing and all that,” said Gibbons, who sat out Tuesday’s 5 1 loss to the Mississippi Braves jerseys. “I’m just trying to be as consistent as possible and hit the ball hard every at bat and hopefully somebody up there takes notice.”
Stars manager Darnell Coles has certainly taken notice. Coles said Gibbons has been terrific for his young squad.
“He’s a true professional,” he said. “He’s a big leaguer just waiting for an opportunity. His major league stats speak for themselves. He was a great player. Now, it’s just getting that opportunity again.
“I think he’s in a perfect place because we’ve had some injuries up top that are going to allow him at some point to move up quickly through the system and into the big leagues. He’s been a model citizen here. He understands how things work.”
This is his 15th professional cheap baseball jerseys season. He had his best season in 2003 with the Orioles jerseys when he hit .277 with 23 home runs and 100 RBI. Gibbons is a career .260 hitter with 127 homers and 427 RBI.
“I’ve been going at it a long time,” he said. “I still feel pretty good physically. It’s the mental grind . trying to prepare for every game and staying up when there’s not 40,000 people in the stands. I’ve been trying to trick myself into getting motivated that way.”
Gibbons said the atmosphere that Coles has built has been good for him. has been incredible,” he said. “He’s taking care of an old guy like me. Hanging around with the young guys makes me feel a little younger and I’m trying to teach them a little bit of what I’ve learned. It’s been fun.”
Gibbons refused to say how long he planned on chasing his dream of getting back to the majors, but he knows there will come a time to call it quits.
“I’m going to play as hard as possible here, but there will come a time when I’m going to say that’s it and I’ll be happy with my decision,” he said.
Coles believes Gibbons will get a call pretty soon.
“Jay is doing everything he possibly can to get a shot,” he said. “He’s having quality at bats. He’s swinging the bat well. He’s hitting in the middle of the lineup. He understands how he’s being pitched.
“He’s been great for us, but he won’t be here the whole year. Now, it’s just a matter of getting that opportunity up top and I think he’ll get that in the near future.”