The great-grandson of Texas A&M football legend John Kimbrough joined the Aggie baseball team on Monday, and 13-year-old Gus Kimbrough even got to miss some of his seventh-grade classes to take part in the signing event.
In a partnership with the nonprofit organization Team Impact, Aggie head coach Rob Childress ceremonially signed the Cornerstone Christian Academy student to the 2019 squad during a press conference at Kyle Field.
Team Impact works with college athletic programs to help improve the lives of children battling serious or chronic illnesses. Kimbrough has Type 1 diabetes.
During Monday’s press conference, Childress said Kimbrough was a great addition to the team.
“He’s like a Swiss Army knife,” Childress said. “There’s not an awful lot that Gus can’t do. He brings a lot of intensity to the dugout. He’s on the field with a lot of our guys and certainly makes guys like Chandler Morris better in every way.”
Morris, an Aggie senior infielder, was on hand Monday to help welcome his new teammate to the program.
“We call it an inner circle,” Morris said of the locker room. “Bringing Gus in makes it more palpable, in a sense, to be able to bring someone in that maybe looks up to you more, and it just holds you that much more accountable.”
Kimbrough summed it up for the reporters gathered to witness the signing: “It kind of feels like it’s just one big family all together.”
Kimbrough’s mother, Alissa, was first alerted to Team Impact through a Facebook group of mothers with diabetic children. It didn’t take much communication to realize that the family, Team Impact and A&M were a good fit, she said.
Once the university was on board, the baseball team quickly laid claim to Kimbrough as their newest teammate.
“From a mother’s standpoint, it’s amazing having a group of fantastic young gentlemen to just love on your kid and make them a part of a team and have them included,” said Alissa Kimbrough, a 1998 A&M graduate. “Watching his self-confidence grow around the team is great. I love it. I love every part of it.”
The youngest Aggie on the team has already spent about a month with the team, getting a chance to field balls while players take batting practice and taking some cuts of his own in the batting cages at Blue Bell Park.
As an avid reader and video gamer, there are still plenty of elements of baseball for Kimbrough to learn, but he will get that opportunity while attending practices, games, team dinners and events throughout the season. As the great-grandson of the star of the 1939 national championship Aggie football team, he has already been inundated with A&M tradition, his mom said.
“I’m looking forward to watching the games and watching everyone play and hopingthe Aggies will have a good game and just have fun,” Gus Kimbrough said.
Childress said he hopes his older players learn how to see the big picture through their relationship with Kimbrough.
“I think it’s important that we understand we want to win each and every game, and that’s our goal to win each and every game, but we have the opportunity to impact a young person’s life, then we’ve won,” he said.