Trevor Gooby, the mild-mannered director of Florida operations for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Bradenton Marauders, took on an entirely new role Tuesday night: He delivered the newest baseball fan at the front gates of the stadium.
This tiny fan arrived with his umbilical cord still attached. Gooby was pressed into duty, helping to deliver a baby, when a pregnant woman went into labor during a "soft opening" night for fans.
"It was definitely an interesting night," Gooby said. "It's an interesting way to start spring training."
Late Tuesday night, the mother, Latisha Kirk, and her newborn son were reportedly doing fine at . There's still no word on the name of the little boy, born at the front gates at .
Tuesday night the Pittsburgh Pirates were hosting an event for season ticket holders, neighborhood fans and invited guests. There was no game, but the sound system was being tested, concessionaires were working out the kinks, the mascots were trying out their newest moves.
And then a worker spotted a pregnant woman in some pain.
Gooby stepped in to make sure everything was all right when Latisha Kirk told him she thought she might be having contractions. Gooby immediately put her in a wheelchair and called 9-1-1.
As Gooby wheeled Kirk to the front gate where they were set to meet emergency responders, she told him that the baby was coming.
Gooby reassured her that there was plenty of time and that the ambulance would meet them in just a few minutes.
But Kirk insisted. They had reached the front gate and Kirk looked at Gooby. "The baby is definitely coming."
He sent a couple of staff members to get towels and gloves just in case.
"And then I looked," Gooby said. "I could see the baby's head."
Gooby, 35, has two children and was in the delivery room when his wife gave birth, but that was the extent of his training as far as labor and delivery. But it seems Kirk didn't have time to be too concerned about Gooby's delivery skills.
"She pushed one time and the baby was out," Gooby said. "We wrapped the baby up in towels. He was crying and EMS arrived a couple of minutes later and cut the umbilical cord."
Gooby was still in shock as he inspected the field a couple of hours laters.
"This was definitely a first for us," he said.He said Kirk told him she was also surprised. She was 8-and-a-half months pregnant and had walked to the stadium to join the party. She was feeling fine when she left home.
"She was just as surprised as we were," he said.
Gooby said Kirk told him what she planned on naming the baby while they were waiting for EMS to arrive, but said he couldn't remember the name she had picked out. Instead, he said, he joked with her about naming the baby after the director of Florida Operations since the baby was born at McKechnie Field.
"I told her my name is Trevor and it makes a great name," he said.
Gooby said she had family with her at McKechnie Field and that they all went to to hospital. He checked later with Manatee Memorial and discovered that both mom and baby were fine.
He is hoping to visit the pair on Wednesday and to perhaps deliver a few gifts from the Pirates and Marauders as a welcome to their newest fan.