Like son, like father: Elder Gosling enjoying Fantasy Camp

Like son, like father: Elder Gosling enjoying Fantasy Camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As he got ready to leave home to participate in the D-backs' 11th Annual Fantasy Camp, Jim Gosling received some words of wisdom from his son, Michael, a former big league pitcher.

The advice: "Dad, don't get hurt."

So far, through two days of camp, Gosling, who will turn 70 in a few months, has followed that advice. He even got in some extra work Tuesday morning with his manager for the week. D-backs assistant hitting coach Mark Grace hit him some fungoes in the outfield.

Gosling, a political science professor at the University of Utah, had been thinking of going to a baseball Fantasy Camp and decided this was the time.

"I thought that I had better not put this off too much longer," he said. "Seventy seemed to be a good time to do this. I had heard the Diamondbacks camp was a very good camp, run well, a lot of returning people and fun. It's proved to be those things. Also just the symbolism of Michael having played for the Diamondbacks."

Michael was selected by the D-backs in the second round of the 2001 Draft out of Stanford and spent parts of five seasons in the big leagues, including his first two with Arizona.

"Sort of a reverse of role here," Jim said. "The dad gets sent off to play baseball and the kid is hopefully keeping in touch with what's happening and rooting from afar."

Michael, who went back and got his law degree from Stanford following the end of his playing career, is now a lawyer in California. He was checking the photos posted online of camp's first day to see if he could spot his dad.

"I saw that the campers are wearing the old throwback uniforms," Michael said. "I thought that was especially neat that he was wearing the same uniform that I wore. Now he gets to have some of the same fun experiences that we would get during Spring Training in terms of getting out on the field and rediscovering baseball again."

Jim used to catch Michael's offseason bullpen sessions, an impressive feat for someone in his 60s.

"After all he did during my life to help me, it's great to see him get to do this," Michael said.

Jim has a daughter Amy, who swam UC Berkeley and a son, David, who played baseball at Trinity University.

Good athletic genes in the Gosling family?

"You wouldn't think so watching me play today," Jim said with a laugh. "I say they get it from their mother, Connie."

If Jim has his way, this won't be the last time he attends the D-backs Fantasy Camp.

"I think at 75 or perhaps 80 I could come back with David and Michael and all three of us could play," Jim said. "They could help me up to the plate. Each could grab one arm."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.