Boyer cherishes every moment with his kids

Boyer cherishes every moment with his kids

MINNEAPOLIS -- After a trying 2011 season that saw him pitch for four different organizations, Blaine Boyer decided to call it quits after parts of seven seasons in the Majors.

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His wife, Ginsey, was pregnant with their second child, Benaiah, while their first son, Levi, was just a year old. Boyer was tired of life on the road and wanted to spend more time with his family.

"It was 100 percent solely to be there consistently," Boyer said. "Benaiah was on the way. Levi was already here. I just wanted to be there."

It would've been a permanent decision if not for his friend and former big league pitcher Paul Byrd telling him it was too early to walk away and he could make it work if he brought his family with him on the road.

Boyer ended up signing a Minor League deal with the Royals in 2013, and wound up pitching in Japan with the Hanshin Tigers that season.

He returned to the Majors with the Padres last year, and this year, he's emerged as the Twins' top setup reliever despite being signed to a Minor League contract. And his family has been with him every step of the way, as they attend every home game and usually come along for at least one city on every road trip.

"Just to have my boys with me is huge," Boyer said. "It's just like anybody with a bring your kids to work day. So it's just cool to have your kids there with you. But on a whole other level, baseball is America's pastime and as a kid you grow up and play baseball. Our kids are already showing a huge interest in the game. So for them to be at a Major League ballpark and when we win, they run in there and see the huge dance party, it's just amazing."

Levi and Benaiah, with their long blond hair, are fixtures at Target Field after Twins games and have enjoyed watching the Twins and their much publicized dance parties in the clubhouse after wins. Boyer said they've enjoyed it so much, they imitate the dance parties back home.

"They turn the lights off in their room and they have glow sticks and just jump and dance around," Boyer said. "They've been waiting to do it to coincide with us winning. So they'll be like, 'Mom, did the Twins win?' And she'll say we didn't, and they'll say, 'Ahh.' So they're really into it. So you just take a step back and realize how blessed you are they're a part of this and get to see it."

Boyer, whose parents divorced when he was 3, cherishes every moment he has with his two sons, and said they're what keeps him going. He knows his role as a father is more important than anything he accomplishes on a baseball field.

"For them to be a part of my everyday life in baseball is just so cool," Boyer said. "So for them to be there and develop, and live their little lives, is just so awesome. I'm very blessed."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.