Most baseball teams need a slugger in the middle of the lineup to be successful, and for this year’s Gig Harbor High squad, senior Garrett Gallinger is that player.
Gallinger has proven to be a strong all-around athlete. He was the starting quarterback for the Gig Harbor football team in 2011 and ’12, and as a sophomore baseball player, Tides coach Pete Jansen was touting him as the program’s next NCAA Division I recruit.
He’s well-known for his ability to crush a pitch over the fence, but Gallinger’s best quality might be his work ethic.
“When I’m not playing sports, I’m honestly in the gym,” he said. “That’s about it. I play sports, I lift, and I do school work. That’s pretty much my life.”
On Thursday, after the Tides finished up a rainy, muddy workout on their home turf, Gallinger spent a few minutes talking about his senior year of baseball and his hopes of a college playing career:
The Peninsula Gateway: Is it a strange feeling, knowing this is your final year of baseball with the Tides?
Garrett Gallinger: I kind of got to experience it firsthand with football, the process with the season being over. It does go extremely fast, but we’ve got a really, really good group of guys on this team, and we’ve all been playing together for a long time. I’m excited.
PG: What are your thoughts on switching to first base after being a third baseman for so long?
GG: I played first base pretty much most of last year, just because we did bring a couple guys up in the middle of the season. And I do play there for my summer team as well, just because they had a void they needed filled. So I just ended up over there, and I love it.
PG: Have you figured out whether you’ll be playing college baseball next year?
GG: I’m going to play somewhere — I don’t know where yet. I might play football and baseball somewhere, or I might play Division I baseball, or I might play at a junior college and transfer or get drafted.
Baseball is kind of a unique sport where it does take a lot more time to develop, and a lot of people actually do grow from that one or two years of development at a junior-college level. Then they’re a lot more successful, because then you can play right away, whereas if you have a stud in front of you, you’re not going to play until your junior or senior year in Division I.
PG: Is there a major-leaguer you model your game after?
GG: I’d say Evan Longoria (third baseman for the Tampa Bay Rays). He puts more time than anybody I’ve ever seen into his preparation and the little things, the little parts of the game. I’ve taken a lot from his style of play, and even though he plays third base, and I’ve moved over to first base, a lot of how he gets ready and how he prepares is what I admire the most about him.
PG: What do you admire about Pete Jansen and Larry Carlson, your coaches at Gig Harbor, and your coaches with the Narrows Baseball Club?
GG: They’ve done great things. I’ve been in communication with the high-school coaches and my summer coaches year-round. I’ve seen Larry at his office a couple times. I go in every single day and talk to coach Jansen about the practice plan, so I can help him execute it when we get to practice. And my Narrows coaches have done a nice job of finding some schools in the area, with their connections, that I could possibly play for.
PG: Do you have any favorite music or movies?
GG: I’ve got music going all the time. My favorite artist is Kendrick Lamar. My favorite movie of all time is “Scarface.”Sports Editor Neil Pierson can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_neil.