With Jackie Urbaez standing on third base in a tie game with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday night in a game against the Washington Wild Things, Clay Fisher stepped up to the plate, looking to finish off a comeback win for the Ottawa Titans with a hit. There was more to this at-bat than just winning the game, however. Clay Fisher’s brother, Garrett Fisher, was coaching his final game with the Titans, and this was likely to be Clay Fisher’s final at-bat with his brother in the clubhouse.
Needing just a sacrifice fly to win the game with a speedy Urbaez on third, Clay Fisher locked in, stroking a single into right field, just over the head of the right fielder. Urbaez came in to score, and the Titans scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, ending the game in dramatic fashion, and ending Garrett Fisher’s tenure in Ottawa in a special way. After Clay Fisher was showered in icy water, the two brothers shared a moment on the field.
“I couldn’t have been in a better position, and I really wanted to pull through for him, and I did,” said Clay Fisher. “I gave him a big hug there at the end, and it was a nice moment that I will remember forever.”
“When I was shaking hands with everyone after the game, Clay [Fisher] was the last guy there,” Garrett Fisher said. “He put his arms out, I put my arms out, and I gave him a hug.”
“Tonight was a great experience,” he continued. “It was a good end note for my last game, especially with my brother finishing it in the last inning. It was cool.”
Garrett Fisher, who was an assistant coach with the Titans, accepted a job with the Cal State Fullerton Titans in NCAA Division 1 baseball. He has previous experience with them, but now, joins them on a more permanent basis.
“I’m pretty excited,” said Garrett Fisher. “I’ve been there for the past five years. Last year, I was a graduate assistant coach, but now I’m stepping up into either the director of player development role, or possibly the director of baseball operations, so we’re trying to sort all of that out.”
“It’s definitely big,” he continued. “It jump-starts my coaching career. I’m pretty pumped.”
Garrett Fisher, the younger of the two brothers at 25 years old, has made his older brother Clay Fisher proud, not just by getting his new job, but also by doing it at such a young age.
“For his age, it’s pretty impressive,” said Clay Fisher, the Titans’ shortstop. “I’m proud of him, and I’m happy that I got to send him off well.”
Ottawa wasn’t the first professional baseball team to take interest in Garrett Fisher, and there was a near-deal last season with Missoula PaddleHeads, where current Titans’ manager Bobby Bobby was the hitting coach. It may not have worked out then, but it did help him land in Ottawa.
“My brother Clay [Fisher] played for Bobby [Brown] last year,” Garrett Fisher said. “One of the assistant coaches at Fullerton two years ago knew the manager in Missoula, and I talked to him because I wanted to get some coaching experience. They tried to get me out to Missoula, but it didn’t end up working. When Bobby [Brown] got the job [in Ottawa], he reached out to me and wanted to come out.”
Despite Garrett and Clay having interest from the same teams, they don’t view themselves as a package deal. Sometimes, things just work out that way, but you certainly won’t find either complaining about it.
“Not really,” Garrett Fisher said with a grin. “He wanted to come here, and he likes Bobby [Brown], especially after the year he had in Missoula last year with Brown as his hitting coach, he was for sure going to play with him again this year.”
The brothers have never before had the chance to share a team the way they have in Ottawa, and they say each other’s presence made life easier. While Clay Fisher was rehabbing from a dislocated kneecap earlier in the season, who other than his brother was out on the field working with him? They were always there for each other, no matter what the need was.
“It has been really cool, it has been fun,” said Garrett Fisher. “Obviously, I’ve never had the chance to do this, and it might be my only chance to do this. Hopefully, he keeps progressing in his baseball career and gets to higher places. It has been awesome.”
“It’s been fun having him here,” said Clay Fisher. “It’s funny because when he came here, I started getting some hits. He was a bit of a good luck charm. I never really got to see him coach, and when he came out here, I got to experience that with him. He does a really good job, and I’m just proud of him.”
Garrett Fisher mentioned both Brown, and pitching coach Tom Carcione as important figures in his development to date. Brown allowed Garrett Fisher to coach this base a handful of times, including his final game in Ottawa on Wednesday night, where a couple of brave sends scored some runs for Ottawa.
“They are both great guys,” Garrett Fisher said. “From the moment I got here, I have been learning a bunch. Brown has been throwing me out there coaching the bases which I had only done once before while coaching a summer collegiate team in Alaska. It was just being thrown in the mix with pro hitters, it was good for me to not only teach them, but to learn from them.”
Garrett Fisher sending runners who scored on tight plays at the plate, and Clay Fisher driving in the winning run. If you scripted a movie that way, you would call it corny. In a sense, it was the only ending fitting of the bond these two brothers have built in Ottawa.
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