Five minutes with Tuffy Gosewisch

Posted: July 12, 2011

Playing at: Reading (AA)

Position: Catcher

Height: 5-11. Weight: 181.

Age: 27. Born: Aug. 17, 1983, in Freeport, Ill.

Bats: Right. Throws: Right.

How obtained: Selected in the 11th round in 2005.

This season: Is hitting a career-best .282 (through Sunday) and is likely to set personal bests for home runs and RBI. He has eight homers and 42 RBI . . . Has hit two of Reading's four grand slams . . . Had a career-high six RBI against Akron on June 1.

Career notes: Has been a non-roster invitee to Phillies' spring training each of the last four seasons . . . Was named the best defensive catcher in the Eastern League in 2010 . . . Hit .200 in 16 games at Triple A Lehigh Valley in 2009, the highest level he's reached.

High praise: Roy Halladay often asked to throw to Gosewisch during the spring, saying, "He's a great receiver. He kind of knows what I want to do."

Well Read: Gosewisch initially was disappointed to return to Reading this season, but now calls it the best year of his career. He's getting a primo education playing for manager Mark Parent, a major league catcher from 1986-98.

Parent-al guidance: "He has the ability to make you relax," Gosewisch explained. "He knows that it's a long season and a long career and one game or one pitch won't define your career. You just have to keep grinding and working hard every pitch."

Job as a kid: Worked at his parents' T-shirt printing shop. "I'd work there folding shirts, packing up," he chuckled. "The pay was not good."

Proudest athletic moment: Helping Arizona State make it to the College World Series in 2005. "We fell a game or two short the previous 3 years and then, my senior year, we kind of pulled it out of our [butt]. We came back to win two games and I was a big part of that. I'm very proud of that."

That year: Gosewisch started all 67 games for the Sun Devils in 2005, hit .321 with a team-best 74 RBI and was named ASU's MVP.

All-time favorite catcher: Carlton Fisk. "Partly because my dad [Jim] loved him," he said. "I've seen the replay of the homer in the '75 World Series a lot."

Toughest part of baseball: The mental fortitude required at the pro level. "To grind it out and grind it out. You can play a lot of games in a career. You have to believe that at the end it's going to pay off and you're going to be in the big leagues for a while."

Rooted for: Grew up a Mariners fan until the Diamondbacks started playing in 1998 when Gosewisch was 14 years old.

Favorite sports movie: "Major League."

Off the field: Is a big golfer; played 3 years in high school.

His dream foursome: Him, Jesus Christ, Leonardo da Vinci and Mahatma Gandhi.

Favorite athlete: Babe Ruth. "Just to see what he was like in person," Gosewisch said. "All we get to see is the bad reruns on TV and hear the stories. I'd like to see what he was really like."

Pitcher he'd love to have caught: Nolan Ryan. "It's not easy to catch a 100 mph fastball," he explained. "But it's easier to catch a 100 mph fastball than it is to catch an 89 mph slider."

Name game: First name is James, but his dad nicknamed him Tuffy because he was a particularly destructive infant. "I used to break my crib and fall out and just keep on going and it wouldn't faze me," he said. "I'd fall downstairs and beat things up."

- Ed Barkowitz

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