FARGO—Colton Reavis channeled country megastar, Garth Brooks, to win a singing contest on bus ride earlier this American Association baseball season.
The Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks closer belted out an acapella version of the hit song “If Tomorrow Never Comes” while his teammates listened.
“No one made a peep when he was singing,” RedHawks pitching coach Michael Schlact said. “He just killed it, and everyone was cheering for him. … It caught us off guard.”
Reavis has been a solid performer for the RedHawks on the field, too, although his services weren’t needed Friday, July 22, at Newman Outdoor Field. F-M got eight strong innings from newly acquired starter Brian Ernst to spark a 5-1 victory against the Sioux City Explorers before 4,277 fans.
Ernst signed with the RedHawks before the game after starting this season with the New Jersey Jackals of the Can-Am League. The right-hander began his pro career with F-M in 2013.
Ernst allowed six hits and struck out seven, allowing one earned run against the Explorers.
“We know he’s had good stuff over the years,” RedHawks manager Doug Simunic said of Ernst. “He’s a solid kid.”
Reavis has been a fixture in the RedHawks bullpen, emerging as the team’s closer after Miami Marlins bought Travis Ballew’s contract in June. Reavis is 1-4 with a 2.56 ERA with four saves in 24 appearances. The hard-throwing right-hander was named to the North team for the American Association All-Star game, which is Aug. 2 in St. Paul.
“He’s not scared of anything, and that’s what you have to have at the end of the game,” Schlact said of Reavis, who has a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s and a stellar slider. “He burns it out. He comes right at you.”
The RedHawks were on their Texas road trip in May when the team had the singing contest on the bus among the rookies and younger players on the roster. Prepared was the 26-year-old Reavis for the moment.
His dad’s side (Johnny Reavis) of the family is “pretty musically gifted,” he said.
“I wanted to wait until the end because I felt like I was probably going to win the thing,” said Reavis, who earned a six pack of beer for winning.
Reavis started playing guitar around three years ago. He occasionally will go to the loading dock area behind Newman Outdoor Field about an hour before game time to play his guitar. Earlier this month, Reavis had a spontaneous jam session with St. Paul Saints starting pitcher Mark Hamburger before a match at Newman.
As he was walking into the stadium, Hamburger saw Reavis playing guitar. Hamburger asked if he could sing with Reavis, who was strumming a Led Zeppelin song.
“He sang the first verse to ‘Stairway to Heaven,’ so that was pretty cool,” Reavis said. “He was excellent.”
Reavis likes all types of music, but Led Zeppelin and Neil Young are among his favorites to play on guitar.
“Good acoustic stuff,” Reavis said. “I love old classic rock stuff, and I love guitars.”
From Paris, Texas, Reavis is in his fourth pro season. He said “The Load-Out” by Jackson Browne or “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson are songs that epitomize his professional baseball life.
“Something that has to do with traveling everywhere and never being still,” Reavis said. “It’s cool, too. I would never have got to go all these places without baseball. … I love it.”
Growing up, Reavis liked watching Major League pitchers like Pedro Martinez and Rich Harden. He enjoyed watching an ESPN Baseball Tonight nightly segment called “That’s Nasty!” that featured pitchers who made hitters look foolish with wicked pitches.
“Rich Harden was on there all the time,” Reavis said of the former MLB right-hander who spent most of his career with the Oakland Athletics. “I love to strike people out. Every pitch I throw, I’m trying to strike people out. That’s the mentality I have anyway.”