MILWAUKEE — Former Chicago White Sox player Adam LaRoche said he had no regrets after walking away from baseball and a $13 million salary after a dispute with the team over the presence of his young son at the ballpark — an issue that hits close to home for a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers player.
Daulton Varsho is the team-oriented catcher for the Panthers, but as a legitimate professional prospect, he is also well aware of how he is performing individually.
“It happens for every player. You try to get so and so average, so and so hits, but I’ve always thought about my dad’s saying — ‘try to get a hit a game, and everything will turn out to be fine in the end,'” Varsho said.
Varsho’s father has credibility. Gary Varsho came out of Marshfield, Wisconsin to have an eight-year MLB career as an outfielder before becoming a minor league manager and big league coach.
His son is now representing the family name.
All that time Daulton Varsho got to spend with his dad in the dugout and around baseball helped shape him as a guy, and his current coach says it definitely helped shape him on the field.
“I mean, he is a baseball player. You could put him anywhere on the field and it’s going to look right. He just has the intangibles and I’m sure more than anything it’s because he grew up on it. He grew up around it. He grew up around people who do it the right way and it looks a certain way. His actions, his mannerisms, and his instincts for the game — you cannot teach them,” Scott Doffek, UWM Panthers head coach said.
Adam LaRoche retired in March — after the Chicago White Sox asked him to limit his teenage son Drake’s time around the team.
Seeing as how Daulton Varsho spent time in professional dugouts with his dad, the issue resonates with him. He said he would hate to see any kind of kids ban be enacted.
“I don’t want to ever see that go away. I tell everybody that it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience to grow up as a kid and just go to the ballpark every day with your dad. It’s the greatest experience ever,” Varsho said.
“I think that’s what baseball is — a dad taking his son to a game and telling him what’s going on and trying to explain the game. There’s just something different about baseball and sons and dads I think,” Doffek said.
Varsho has been tied to the sport of baseball since he was born. He is named after Darren Daulton — a Phillies catcher and teammate of Varsho’s father.