The Reds Birthday Babies Club would like to recognize one of our newest members - Colt Gomes, the son of Reds left fielder Jonny Gomes and his wife Kristy. Jonny and Kristy, who have been married for two years and together for nine years, welcomed Colt into their family on Valentine's Day, 2011.
Conveniently, Colt's birthday fell during the offseason, a special time during which Gomes is able to spend every day with his kids. Even more convenient is that Jonny and Kristy live in Scottsdale, Arizona (about 40 minutes from the Reds Spring Training complex in Goodyear) so when spring duty arrived he wasn't too far from his loved ones. Since baby Colt was still brand new when Spring Training began, he only made it out to one game. However, Jonny described his two-year-old daughter, Zoe, as a tornado running through Spring Training, making the most of her dad's second home.
Gomes admits he and Kristy heard horror stories about bringing another sibling into the picture and how that affects the older child, but adds that "you hear horror stories about anything." Zoe has proved to be a caring older sister, who is happy to help take care of Colt. She holds him, and doesn't even mind the dirtier jobs - like when Colt spits up. Gomes describes Zoe and Colt as "two peas in a pod" - when Colt is upset, Zoe is upset; she feels emotions right along with her new brother.
Gomes displays his love for his children proudly and permanently with a tattoo on his right forearm of his children's first and middle names, Colt Johnson and Zoe Paris. Below their names are two kiss marks - "my wife's kisses," said Gomes. However, Gomes is determined to not let his own love of baseball overshadow his children's interests and dreams.
"I'm not going to be a 'Super Sports Dad'," said Gomes. "I want to expose them to everything, and then let them choose." He then added with a smile, "However, if Colt does choose baseball, I do have a few tips to offer."
Gomes has discovered that balancing his growing family and his career has helped him find perspective in life. Kristy gave birth to Zoe when Jonny was 29, and Jonny said this is when the young parents realized "what we're put on the planet for."
"Having children puts things like having a 4-4 or 4-0 record into perspective," said Gomes.
Despite his hectic and demanding baseball schedule, being a parent is one of the most gratifying experiences Gomes has ever had, and he wants to be the most "hands-on pops" he can be. Leaving the kids on a daily basis or longer during the season is difficult, so Gomes and the other players with children share tips on how to handle being away from their families and how their kids pass the time when their Major League dads aren't around. One of the most helpful tools Gomes has found has been Skype, a free program that allows users to make calls over the internet and incorporate a web cam to see other users face-to-face-perfect for family time when Gomes' is on the road without his little ones.
Also helpful is that Gomes' family moves from Scottsdale to Cincinnati during the season, and the NL Central is a tightly knit area. Coming up in the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays, most of the road destinations were over three hours away by plane. In the NL Central road trips are often not more than five hours in a car.
Jonny, Kristy, Zoe and baby Colt are the newest Reds family to become a part of the Birthday Babies program, and are glad to join the rest of our members in all the perks of being a Reds Birthday Baby!