NEW YORK -- For a few minutes, manager Kirk Gibson leaned back in his office chair inside Citi Field. He smiled. In a rare moment, he was able to watch his son, Cam, play in a college baseball game halfway across the country a few hours before Friday's game against the Mets.
Cam followed his father to Michigan State last year to play outfield. On Friday he and the Spartans were playing against Illinois in the Big 10 conference tournament in Omaha.
Cam entered Friday's game with a .302 batting average, with two homers and 17 RBIs.
"I try to watch him whenever I can," Gibson said of his son. "He's very lucky to have that opportunity to go to the university I went to and try to fulfill his dreams."
Gibson was a two-sport star athlete at Michigan State, and he was an All-American in football and baseball before playing 17 years in the Major Leagues.
The D-backs drafted Cam in the 38th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. He was exceptional last summer in the Northwoods League, leading the Battle Creek Bombers and ranking seventh in the league with a .345 batting average. He also recorded 23 stolen bases. This summer he will play in the Cape Cod League.
"It's good for him," Gibson said. "It's a great league. I never played in that league. I played American Legion a lot."
Gibson said that his son found it difficult during his first year at Michigan State to balance baseball with his classes. What makes Gibson most proud is that as a sophomore, Cam is having a strong season while being successful in the classroom.
"He had really good grades this term," Gibson said. "It was really hard for him to go into college last year and learn to chase his dream and pursue his education at the same time. He had some hiccups there in the first term. Had to take some time off from fall ball. To be honest with you, that's what I'm most proud about."
Nate Taylor is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.