SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. – Former Lipscomb pitcher Rex Brothers returned home last weekend for an “Evening with Rex”.
More than 200 people braved a chilly, rainy night to meet Brothers at Shelbyville Central High School’s cafeteria. It was hard to tell which impressed the crowd the most, the fact that Brothers is a relief pitcher for the Colorado Rockies or his rock solid reputation and character.
Brothers talked informally with friends and fans and then sat down for a question-and-answer session from Shelbyville Times-Gazette sportswriter Gary Johnson. Brothers then entertained questions from the crowd. He closed out the evening by posing for photos and signing autographs.
After closing out his high school career at Shelbyville Central Brothers spent the next three years on the staff at Lipscomb University. He was drafted 34th in the Major League Draft in 2009, the end of his junior year.
Brothers, selected as the Rockies 2011 Rookie of the Year, spent much of the evening talking about some of the things that contributed to his development as a pitcher.
“We had a phenomenal group of guys that came together at Central,” Brothers said. “In high school you are carefree. It’s is a time to get a chance to grow. I can’t say enough about the guys on the team with me.”
Brothers, whose younger brother Hunter is a redshirt freshman on the Lipscomb Bison baseball team, spent several summers attending Lipscomb’s baseball camps.
“My grandmother always told me I was going to Lipscomb and it worked out perfect,” Brothers said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
“I was around people who had a higher belief in life. My coach, Jeff Forehand, changes lives.”
Brother’s college career had its share of ups and downs.
“In my sophomore year things didn’t go as planned,” Brothers said. “My velocity was down. I was inconsistent. My numbers were terrible.
“Between my sophomore and junior years I realized there was a plan out there bigger than the one I had. I decided I didn’t have to have baseball. I could do something else. I let go of baseball as hard as that was to do and that is when I really took off on the mound.”
Forehand attended the evening and took the opportunity to sing the praises of Brothers.
“I talk all the time about how our players represent our team, our school and their families,” Forehand said. “You guys all know the Brothers. If my sons can grow up like their two sons I will have done a pretty good job.
“The emotions I have for Rex, not just on the field, but the relationship we had at Lipscomb is pretty special. We’re excited about Hunter and what he can do for us down the road.”
From a family standpoint Rex credited his father, Andy, with teaching him the importance of hard work.
“I was taught to never put myself above anybody,” Brothers said. “When you are putting up 200 fence posts on the farm you will learn about hard work.
“I can come back home and be myself. If I run into you and I don’t speak then hit me in the head or something. I don’t think there is any reason for doing something like that.”
Brothers is active in Baseball Chapel and wants to use his career in the majors as a way to showcase his beliefs. He stresses that the concept of the wild lives of pro athletes is somewhat exaggerated though there are exceptions.
“That is something I wish people understand,” Brothers said. “They see things on ESPN when someone gets in trouble. But there are a lot of good people in baseball. There are a lot of good people in all of athletics.
“I’m not trying to say that I’m perfect. I’m not. But we have a tremendous bunch of guys on our team. We share about our lives through conversations.”
State Senator Jim Tracy and State Representative Pat Marsh presented Brothers with a joint state house resolution recognizing his success.
“We are proud of you and your hard work,” Tracy said. “I still have the tape from last year when you pitched against Atlanta and you were smoking the ball about 97 miles per hour.”
Written by Mark McGee, Senior Publisher/Director of Media Relations.