Baseball is a family affair: a peek into the lives of Tyler and Ryan Bawart

Tyler and Ryan Bawart, pitcher and catcher duo for the Concordia Stingers’ baseball team, 2022. KAITLYNN RODNEY/ The Concordian @kait_rodney

The Stingers’ baseball veterans have baseball running in their veins

If two brothers playing for the same team in competitive baseball isn’t uncommon enough, twins who pitch and catch on the same team are as rare as someone hitting more than 60 home runs in a season.

The Concordia Stingers is the lucky team for whom Tyler and Ryan Bawart play. Born and raised in Vaudreuil, both twins are now second-year finance majors at Concordia. It’s also their second year playing for the Stingers’ baseball team.

Growing up watching their father play baseball, the twins developed a passion for the sport.  

“Our dad was a very big fan of baseball, and he got us started very early,” Tyler remembered fondly. “As soon as we could hold a bat, throw a ball, hold a glove, he got us started to play.” 

Their father coached them until his passing in 2017. However, the brothers continued to play and carried his passion with just as much fervour. 

Ryan and Tyler have been playing for 16 years, ever since tee-ball. Both of them are fans of the MLB and have gone to countless games.

“Every spring break when we were kids, we’d go to Florida, and we’d watch the spring training games. That got us a lot into it as well,” said Ryan.

Ryan and Tyler’s family owned a condo 20 minutes away from where the Pittsburgh Pirates played their spring training games.

“Every time we’d go there, we’d probably go to like three to five games a year. When we were younger, we used to run to get players’ autographs,” added Tyler.

Their dad taught them both to pitch and hit when they were young. However, when Ryan started having arm problems around the age of 12, he assumed the position of catcher. He remained able to bat however, so he focused more on that skill. He also continued catching his brother’s pitches.

This role later became permanent when Ryan joined an AA pee-wee team that was in need of a catcher.

The twins played for the Montreal Baseball Academy when they were in college at John Abbott. They currently play for the LaSalle Cardinals during the summer and continue to be a solid duo when it comes to defence. To them, their dynamic feels natural and comfortable.

“It’s fun to have the chemistry that we have. I’ve been pitching to Ryan for almost 10 years now, so I consider him almost like my personal catcher,” Tyler said. “Every time I pitch, I like to have him catch me. Especially when it comes to pitch calling, I’m very comfortable with what he calls. Compared to other catchers, I have better chemistry with him so I’m more comfortable pitching.”

But in the past few years, Ryan hasn’t been catching as much and took on becoming a  shortstop, a position he prefers.

“I usually only catch when Tyler pitches,” he said. “With Concordia however, I started catching a little more because we don’t have many catchers. I like catching Tyler the most, I feel comfortable catching him and I trust him. I know his pitches really well and I think we have a good connection,” Ryan said.

The brothers plan on finishing their majors while playing baseball for Concordia. 

As for the junior league they’re a part of during the summer: at 21 years of age, their stay is close to an end. Next year, they’ll be moving on to the senior league where they’ll need to go through a draft. However, the fact that the senior teams are far from their home in Vaudreuil makes them doubt whether they’ll decide to move up the ranks.

In the end, it doesn’t stop Ryan and Tyler from being optimistic about what the future holds for them. They know they aren’t ready to let go of baseball just yet. If they aren’t able to continue playing together, they will keep on training as a pair.

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