A LOT has happened in his baseball world since we snapped this photo of him and me after the SEC championship series in Hoover, Alabama back in late May.
A LOT!!! Like being chosen in the MLB draft by the Texas Rangers as the #4 overall pick to the tune of $8 million (yes, MILLION!) contract following his incredible career as a Florida Gator.
But I'm getting ahead of myself...before all that happened, we were thrilled to follow Wyatt and his Gator team to the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska in June. What an AMAZING, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It seems like ancient history now, 2 months later, but I still want to post about it for posterity sake.
And to relive those incredible moments once again...
Wyatt is the son of my sister Maria. After the Gators advanced to the finals,...
...Kim and I hopped in the Palisade and hit the road to Omaha,...
...to meet up with Maria (who took this photo) and my other two siblings and their spouses: brother Mark is in the bucket hat with his wife Alli sitting beside me, while my sister Barb in the orange shirt and her husband John were in the row behind us.
Such a fun atmosphere, just being part of the crowd of 25,000+ on college baseball's biggest stage!
The finals were a 3-game series against LSU. Gator fans were greatly outnumbered...I'd guess at least 80% of the people there were cheering for the LSU Tigers.
Even though our seats were always in the family section (compliments of Maria/Wyatt's Florida Gators connections), somehow there were always a few very obnoxious LSU fans in our section. This guy was ridiculous, harassing one of the Gator player's family members. He should have been escorted out....
The best college outfielder in the nation...
He had his usual stellar defensive performance!
But where he really showed his stuff was with his hot bat!
Just days before in the semi-finals, Wyatt had set a College World Series RECORD for the longest home run ever, 456'! WOWZIE!!!
But his final at-bat in Game 1 was classic Wyatt Langford. With the game tied up, he hit a shot to left field that made everyone in the stadium hold their breath and it looked like an extra base hit that would've scored a run. But somehow one of the LSU outfielders came out of nowhere and dove for an incredible catch, robbing him and the Gators of the win. LSU went on to win the game 4-3 in 11 innings. But it was a great game and we knew we were in for a treat in Game 2.
Meanwhile, back in the Ohio home of my youngest son Kyler and his family, Kyler surprised 9-year-old Abram with the trip of his dreams! The two of them flew to Omaha for Games 2 and 3 of the College World Series! Abram was SO EXCITED!!!
We all went to the players' hotel for the pregame pep rally/sendoff.
Barb and Kim sporting their Gator spirit!
Abram was lucky and thrilled to snag the last official College World Series collectible ball. There weren't any more available anywhere in the city or stadium; he got the last one!
Waiting for the players to come through the hotel lobby...
The House siblings..."It's GREAT to be a Florida GATOR!"
Walking to the game...
#36 has his game face on...PLAY BALL!
With the MLB draft less than 2 weeks away and Wyatt predicted to be one of the top picks, the media was all over him all the time.
"Seriously?! I've got a game to play, guys!" How he manages to keep his focus and composure, I'm not sure. The price of stardom...
Thankfully, Wyatt has his priorities in order and he knows Who holds the future! Praying before he comes to the plate...
Part of Wyatt's fan club...
The Gators got off to a slow start, trailing 3-1 going into the 3rd inning, so Abram convinced Papaw they needed to put on their rally caps.
It worked like a charm, as the Gator bats got hot. In fact, they were SIZZLING!!!
Wyatt smoked a homerun during that game, along with 2 doubles and 2 singles...5 hits and 6 RBIs for the game!
Oh yeah, baby...that's our Wyatt!!!
And when I say "smoked," I'm not kidding!
We were having the time of our lives! Never yelled and cheered so loud for so long!
Lots of chomping going on!
What an amazing, record-setting game! The Gators stomped the Tigers...24-4! And Wyatt had the game of his life, just when they needed it!
More media coverage...post-game interview...
Meeting up with our very happy star after the game!
Abram was in baseball heaven! In fact, both of these baseball players were!
Celebration dinner! Our whole gang with Wyatt and Hallie!
Abram had Wyatt sign his special ball...definitely a collector's item that I doubt Abram will ever part with!
Ready for Game 3!
The team praying together before the game...just so awesome to see!
Wyatt wasn't finished with his fireworks yet! He launched a 2-run homer early in the game to give the Gators a lead!
But unfortunately, despite Wyatt's efforts, the Gator pitching wasn't quite on and LSU ended up winning the game 18-4 to win the national championship.
We even made it on ESPN several times! Our family back home kept sending us shots from their TV screens.
Such a fun experience!
Family thrills at the College World Series.