Ethan Gillespie has a different view of the diamond than most.
The McAlester senior catcher has a view of all the action from behind the plate, and it’s given him a whole new perspective on the game.
Gillespie’s roots in baseball started around the age of three, and he’s grown up on the grass and dirt. But he originally played third base most of his career until high school, before fully trying things out behind the plate.
“It just stuck, and that’s what I do now,” he said.
Gillespie — also sporting the nickname “Dos” among his teammates — said playing catcher is unique versus the rest of the lineup, and comes with its own set of responsibilities.
“I think it’s, what some people might say, ‘you got to have that dog in you,’” he said. “You’ve got to have a different type of mentality to be a catcher, I think.”
Gillespie said he has difference aspects of the game of baseball he considered his favorite thing, encompassing both the action and the life lessons taught.
“Being around the guys that I’ve grown up playing with, and building relationships with people,” he said. “On the baseball side, hitting balls hard, making good plays — that’s just the fun part about it.”
Looking back on his career, Gillespie said one of his favorite memories happened just last season when the Buffs broke a 10-year drought and punched their ticket to the state tournament after a decisive regional win on the road at Grove.
“Going into Grove and just putting the dog beating on them,” he said with pride. “It was awesome getting to dogpile on their turf, and a good experience. There’s no better feeling than getting to make the state tournament and getting to play your first-ever state tournament game. It’s a big rush.”
After high school, Gillespie’s cleats will still be seeing plenty of dirt. He recently signed to play college ball at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, and said he was excited about the opportunity.
“I went and visited, liked it; everything is nice up there,” he said. “Coaches wanted me there, so that’s what I decided to do.”
From there, the plan becomes a little more open. But Gillespie is excited to see where life takes him in the meantime.
So for now, he’ll focus on his final months at McAlester. He’s got one more season in the black and gold, and has every intention of making it one to remember.
“Go Buffs,” he said.
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