Christmas a time for tradition, family for Gennett

Christmas a time for tradition, family for Gennett

MILWAUKEE -- It will be another sunny Christmas for Brewers second baseman Scooter Gennett, who has spent his recent winters in either Florida or Arizona. He and fiancée Kelsey are in Phoenix this year, where Gennett spent the first six weeks or so of winter rehabbing a quadriceps that caused trouble down the stretch. Since then, he's been hiking the Valley's array of mountain trails and working three days a week at the Brewers' training complex in preparation for everyday duty in 2015.

Helping to continue a tradition that dates to the early days of MLB.com, Gennett took a few minutes last week to chat about his offseason and to share some holiday memories.

MLB.com: Away from the field, what have you and Kelsey been up to this offseason?

Gennett: We've done a number of things. We've hiked about five mountains now around Arizona; Camelback, Lookout, Aqua Fria and some others. I've got a Ford truck that can get us into some places other people can't get, so sometimes we'll go to Lake Pleasant and get out on our own. That's kind of my vibe, just being able to chill and do whatever, without people around. We're pretty inexperienced hikers, but we're learning.

MLB.com: How is this holiday season different, now that you're a big leaguer?

Gennett: I have 34 first cousins, so when it comes to Christmas, I could go broke. But from another aspect, being in the big leagues and starting to establish myself as a big league player, everything is a lot easier on my mind, knowing I've shown a little of what I can do and that I have a good opportunity going into the spring. It's a lot off my back. That's definitely a positive.

MLB.com: What were some of the Gennett family Christmas traditions that you remember?

Gennett: Oh man, we have a White Elephant [exchange] on Christmas Eve, which is pretty fun. On Christmas Day, we watch "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" almost every year. If you want a feel about how my family is around Christmas, watch "Christmas Vacation." We've got everyone from the Chevy Chase [character] to Uncle Eddie out in the front lawn. That's the kind of people we are, so we like to watch and laugh at people like us. It makes us feel better.

MLB.com: What's at the top of your Christmas list this year?

Gennett: I bought my own Christmas present already. I have a Ford F250, and in order to get the most out of the truck, I wanted to get some things done to the exhaust and whatnot. So I treated myself to that this year. It's kind of one of my hobbies to get stuff for my truck. That's my baby, so I try to take care of her. Other than that, I'm really into movies, so a projector screen sounds like it would be so cool. I could make a great little movie theater wherever I went.

MLB.com: On the flip side, what's the best gift you've ever given?

Gennett: Last year I gave away a few PlayStation 4s when they first came out, and I took one over to a local Boys & Girls Club [in Sarasota, where Gennett went to high school]. I thought it was a cool gift because when I put myself in their ages, and that was the hot gift back when the PS1 was around. It was also cool because I could go back in and play with them, and use my own gift.

MLB.com: If you were buying a gift for a teammate, who would it be and what would you get?

Gennett: I'd like to get the pitchers a padded glove for when [strong-armed catcher Martin] Maldonado gets mad about a pitch and throws the ball 99 mph back to them.

MLB.com: If "Vacation" is your favorite holiday comedy, what's your pick for a drama?

Gennett: "It's a Wonderful Life."

MLB.com: Favorite Christmas song?

Gennett: "Jingle Bells," for sure.

MLB.com: Are you the type whose car radio is set to the Christmas music station?

Gennett: Not really. Growing as a Christian and as a man, I've been thinking more about the important stuff, like the guy standing outside the grocery store collecting money for the less fortunate. I don't really rep the whole Christmas vibe, but if there's a way to help the community, then I'll put on a Santa outfit and do whatever. So, that's how I kind of look at Christmas. It's a great time to just be with the family, but yet, there's still that kid in you.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.