Pump Jacks bring unlikely teammates to East Texas - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

Pump Jacks bring unlikely teammates to East Texas

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It's a collection of talent from all corners of the United States.   Baseball players from Hawaii to Florida, from junior college and division one universities, all spending their summer vacation in East Texas as members of the Pump Jacks.

"I'm doing this to have fun and play with guys I haven't played with from all over the country," said Pump Jacks utility man Andrew Grifol.

Kilgore native Matthew Dickey likes to show his new teammates all the hot spots.

"I show them around," said Dickey.  "Take guys with me to workout in the mornings at the high school. Let them know different things about the town."

Pump Jacks utility man Anthony Gonsolin is from California.  He says Kilgore is a big change.

"It's a little small town," said Gonsolin.  "Doesn't compare to where I'm from, but it's a new experience for sure."

Entertainment's not important. These guys live for baseball.They can't spend all their time at the ballpark.
Most players stay with voluntary host families for the summer.

"My host family is amazing," said Grifol.  "They're one of kind. They help us out. They bough me cleats and a bat. I've never had a host family like them. They treat us well and take care of us."

Alain Gee and his family have hosted 21 players through the years.

"It's like your own child," said Gee.  "They come to you with problems, maybe they couldn't even talk to their parents about."

With nine players drafted, many Pump Jacks will move on to much bigger things. But they'll always remember their summer in Kilgore.

"Make new friends," said Grifol. "Friends that we'll have for the rest of our lives hopefully and just have fun. That's the biggest thing about summer baseball."

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