GAINESVILLE, Fla. The not-so-subtle reminders faded away for the better part of a decade.
Whitey Eckstein understood the situation. His son David, a former walk-on baseball player at Florida, was living a most improbable dream.
David Eckstein wasn't supposed to be good enough to play for the Gators when he tried out for the team in 1994.
"He stood around for three weeks before he ever had a chance to step on the field,'' Whitey said. "He wasn't exactly sought after."
Talk about overcoming the odds.
Eckstein developed into an All-Southeastern Conference infielder and was drafted in the 19th round by the Boston Red Sox in 1997. Again, there was no way the 5-foot-7 middle infielder was going to make it to the majors.
The scout who signed him told Whitey that David would make a good coach one day.
Maybe he will. But in the 15 years since Eckstein signed his first professional contract, he played 10 seasons in the big leagues, won two World Series rings and was World Series MVP in 2006 ...