CINCINNATI - Scooter Gennett tells a strange tale about being born in Cincinnati and moving away to play baseball.
Gennett's baseball life came full circle Tuesday when the Reds claimed the 26-year-old second baseman and long-time Barry Larkin fan on waivers from the Brewers.
Gennett was a pretty good baseball prospect growing up here. But when he was 10, his dad and mom up and moved the family to Sarasota, Florida, so Scooter could play year-round.
"They basically quit their jobs," Gennett said in a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel story in 2013. "They didn't have jobs waiting for them when they got to Florida. It sounds pretty crazy. Your kid is only 10 and you decide to do something like that. But they obviously saw something in me. And it ended up paying off.
His parents need not have worried that his son's baseball talents would go to waste in the icy tundra of the Queen City. The irony is that Cincinnati has produced 320 major-leaguers - more per capita than just about every city in the U.S.
Gennett says his love of baseball began at the age of 2, when he attended his first Reds game.
"Barry Larkin was my guy," said Gennett, who debuted with the Brewers in 2013 and became the regular second baseman that year. "I had his glove and I always looked up to him. He was a good guy on and off the field. It's where I set my goals to be."
The Brewers moved Jonathan Villar to second base this year and when they couldn't find a team that would trade for Gennett, they waived him and his $2.5 million salary.
Gennett, who can also play the outfield and third base, will add depth to the Reds' bench. He batted .263/.317/.412 in 498 ABs last year. He had 14 homers and 56 RBI. Gennett also has an option remaining.
"It’s kind of ironic, being born there and being a big Reds fan growing up," Gennett said Tuesday. "So, it’s a little surreal. But it’s a big league ballclub and there’s a job to do, so that stuff’s cool, but it’s, ‘How can I help the team?’"