Nady rejoins team after birth of child

Nady rejoins team after birth of child

DENVER -- While his teammates started the season's second half out in Colorado, Xavier Nady spent the All-Star break and the following two days in the shadow of PNC Park.

Nady and his wife, Meredith, welcomed the birth of their first child on All-Star Tuesday at Allegheny General Hospital, yards away from the Bucs' home ballpark. They stayed at the hospital until Friday afternoon, and Nady left home to rejoin the Pirates on Saturday.

"Leaving today was one of the hardest things," Nady said after arriving in Denver, hours before the Pirates' third of four games with the Rockies. "He's a beaut. He was eight pounds exactly and 20 inches long. He was good. It's been so much fun."

The newest Nady's full name is Xavier Henry Nady VII, and though he has yet to show an affinity for fielding a baseball or grabbing a bat, he has demonstrated some elite skills, according to his proud papa.

"He can sleep and eat with the best of them," Nady said.

It's more than he can say for himself, however. The extended break may have been beneficial for a sore shoulder Nady had been nursing, but four nights with his newborn namesake wasn't exactly restful for Xavier VI.

"Sleep's not really an option right now," Nady said. "I'll probably get more sleep tonight than I've had in a while. It's been the most amazing experience."

Needless to say, baseball activity was not an option either, as Nady spent all his time at the hospital until he and his family went home Friday night, where they were joined by Meredith's mother, who flew in to help with the baby as Nady hit the road for five days with the Bucs in Denver and Houston. He joked that holding his baby was a way of doing "therapy" for his shoulder, but he made no attempt to throw or hit a baseball over the past five days.

"I wanted be [at the hospital with the baby]. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing," Nady said. "I wasn't going to leave and say, 'Hey, I have to go run some sprints.' I don't think I could have found anybody to throw to me. It's tough. But today I got a good little workout in and hopefully I'll be ready to go."

Manager John Russell kept Nady out of the lineup Saturday, but noted that Nady would be available off the bench, if needed.

"I don't think it would be fair," Russell said. "He's probably been in the hospital with his wife quite often, and then flying in today. We let him take batting practice and run around a little bit. Most likely he'll play [tomorrow]. But it's a great time for him. I know he's very excited about the new addition to the family. Let him enjoy it. Let him get his feet on the ground first."

Russell saw no urgency to try to get Nady into the game, unless the situation called for it, noting Nady's track record of bouncing back quickly from extended rest.

"He missed some time with his shoulder, and we gave him some days off when his leg was sore. He seems to come right back," Russell said. "Obviously to get his full swing going it's going to take him a couple days. But we've seen in the past when he's been down for a few days, it doesn't take him a long time to get going. Getting him one at-bat isn't going to be a major boost to him starting to hit."

Nady kept an eye on the club while tending to his baby, and hopes to be able to contribute to getting the Pirates back on a winning path.

"It's good to be back with the guys," he said. "I watched both games. I hope I can help us win here. Hopefully we'll start playing a little better and turn some things into some positives and go from there."

But as happy as he is to be back with his teammates, Nady kept coming back to how hard it was to leave his family Saturday morning.

"My wife's been unbelievable," Nady said. "It was tough. Today was one of the saddest. At least it'll only be a couple days."

The impact of experiencing fatherhood for the first time was immediate, and at a time of the season when trade rumors and speculation begin gaining momentum, the arrival of Xavier VII has helped his father keep it all in perspective.

"It makes you really think there's more important things in life," Nady said. "Take it with a grain of salt and enjoy what you have, what you control. Have fun."

Owen Perkins is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.