Lloyd Goebbert’s family had to act quickly Wednesday night after learning some exciting news.
Jake Goebbert, Lloyd’s and Terri’s son, called around 10 p.m. telling them he was major league dream was coming true. Jake, an outfielder with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas, was being promoted to the San Diego Padres.
Lloyd, Terri and son James made their flight arrangements out of Chicago for Thursday morning and arrived in San Diego just before Jake, who was on another flight out of Midway Airport.
The Goebberts planned on being in San Diego through Sunday to see their son’s first series in the major leagues. Jake, a 2006 Hampshire graduate and the 2006 Northwest Herald Male Athlete of the Year, was playing with the Pacific Coast League’s Chihuahuas, who lost to the Iowa Cubs, 3-1, Wednesday night in Des Moines.
“He’s worked hard for it and got the break he needed,” Lloyd Goebbert said. “I hope he does what he can with it. I hope he has a good outing and shows well and stays [in the majors]. He deserves it.”
Jake Goebbert normally plays outfield, but has some experience at first base. Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso was placed on the disabled list and Goebbert got the call. Goebbert was not in the lineup for Thursday’s game when they host the Seattle Mariners.
Chihuahuas manager Pat Murphy, the former Notre Dame and Arizona State head coach, brought Goebbert, his wife Heather and friends Doug and Sue Ellett, who were at the game, into his office after Wednesday’s game to deliver the news.
In an interesting coincidence, Murphy also coached Lloyd Goebbert at Florida Atlantic.
“They kind of arrange things like that for the first-time guys,” Lloyd said. “They made it very nice. They went out of their way to make it fun. It was very appropriate.”
The Goebberts had planned on going to Iowa, but had stayed home to take care of some business. Everything was put on hold, however, after the phone call Wednesday.
“It’s amazing,” James Goebbert said. “He’s worked his butt off in the minors and his end goal was always to do this. It’s a blessing to get there finally, and I hope he can perform there. We’ll see what happens.”
Jake Goebbert (6-0, 205) was a three-sport standout at Hampshire, playing football, basketball and baseball. He played at Northwestern and was drafted by Houston in the 13th round of the 2009 Amateur Draft. He was traded last year to Oakland and played the second half of the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
Goebbert was traded five weeks ago to San Diego. Between Sacramento and El Paso, Goebbert, 26, was hitting .264 with 11 home runs and 43 RBIs. He had seven RBIs in a game for the Chihuahuas on June 13.
Lloyd Goebbert owns Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm on Route 47 near Hampshire. He thought his son might get this shot after all the hours he put in growing up. On the farm, Goebberts had a regular pitching machine and a machine that threw tennis balls to help with tracking pitches.
“He’s spend hours up there in that barn,” Lloyd said. “He did everything he was supposed to do. He’s persevered. He’s worked hard on his batting. He truly did everything he could to get here.”
James Goebbert recalls people often asking his brother was going to make it to the majors.
“I always had faith,” James said. “I knew he would get up there sometime. I always told them, ‘Just wait. He’ll be up there.’ ”