D-backs' Burr treats dad to Fantasy Camp

Minor League pitcher grew up watching father play baseball

D-backs' Burr treats dad to Fantasy Camp

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Burr's love of baseball was a gift from his father, Scott, who raised the D-backs Minor League right-hander around the game almost from the time he was born.

Last month, Ryan repaid the favor by giving his dad the gift of getting to play baseball once again.

"He called me and said, 'I've got a surprise for you. I got you D-backs Fantasy Camp for Christmas, and I really want you to do it before you get too old,'" Scott said, as he stood outside the clubhouse at Salt River Fields.

Baseball was always a bond between the two, with Scott an avid player in the Men's Senior Baseball League.

"He was a born the night of a game that we had," Scott said. "We stayed through the end of the game, and my wife went into labor. We dragged him around over the years, and he just kind of grew up kicking around the baseball field."

When Scott's job took the family to Belgium for three years, it was baseball that made the transition easier for Ryan, who got to pitch in Europe's Little League World Series.

"Baseball was the one constant after uprooting and moving him all over," Scott said. "The first year we were there, that was probably the thing that really kind of eased him into living in Europe."

Ryan went on to play collegiately at Arizona State University before being picked by the D-backs in the fifth round of the 2015 Draft. Last year, Ryan pitched for Class A Kane County as he makes his way through Arizona's system.

Ryan Burr played college ball in Arizona before the D-backs selected him in the 2015 Draft.Sarah Sachs/D-backs

Scott's trip to the D-backs' 12th-annual Fantasy Camp was Ryan's way of saying thank you.

"I grew up watching him play in his men's league, and it's been a while since he's gotten to play," Ryan said. "He's been so busy helping me and coming to my games, he hasn't been able to play. He's been wanting to do it forever, and monetarily speaking, I just felt like I had enough resources now and I just thought it would be cool to give back to him after all these years of him putting up with me."

Ryan has been at the complex working out each day, and when he's done, he finds his way out to the backfields to watch his dad live out a dream.

"I just want him to have a good time and kind of have a day-in-the-life type of deal and see what I get to go through and how fortunate I am to be a part of this organization," Ryan said. "It's cool to see. I'm happy he's here, and it's fun to watch him having such a good time."

For Scott, having Ryan watch him play again after all these years takes some getting used to.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, to be honest," Scott said. "I haven't played in such a long time that it feels strange. He's trying to give me some hitting tips."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.