Niners coach Jim Harbaugh recently sat down with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News to discuss his love for baseball and the budding friendship developing between he and A’s manager, Bob Melvin.
But somewhat buried in the midst of their back and forth was this delightful story of a 5-year-old Jim Harbaugh, along with his older brother John, attending an Indians game back in the late 60s. After the game, the two brothers found themselves with an opportunity to take a photo with an Indians player. So young Jim —exhibiting a predictable air of determination and that familiar tireless will to get the job done — fearlessly chose to weather the storm and piss his pants in the interest of completing his spirited mission.
“… I had to go to the bathroom really bad. So I had to make a decision: Me and my brother were like 20 people from actually being able to go on to the field and take a picture with [the player] right by the first-base bag.
And it was either go to the bathroom and not get a picture, or do it right there in my pants. So I chose to go in my pants and my parents have this picture of a big ring right here (points to an obvious place on the front of his pants).
I’ve got to get my parents to see if they can get that picture. I’ve seen it through the years. I’m the only one that really notices (the visible dampness) — there it is.”
The day this photo surfaces is the day we can all rejoice. Young Jim Harbaugh literally pissed intensity.
Though it comes with very little surprise that his win at all costs, selfless approach — regardless of how he might appear to others — began at such a young age.
It would certainly be a wonderful thing for all of us if this chattier version of Jim Harbaugh came out to play more often. There must be a slew of similarly humorous stories to be shared when you consider the highly competitive Jim-John dynamic, along with Jack, their football-coaching father presiding.
What I’d like to imagine took place in the Harbaugh household on a nightly basis is akin to the Kirklands in Police Academy 2, just with two varsity jacket wearing sons instead of one:
Some other great takeaways from the Q&A:
- If you attempt to leave a baseball game early with Jim Harbaugh, or any Harbaugh for that matter, you will be swiftly placed back into your seat. As Jim stated, it’s a “Harbaugh family rule” to stay until the game is over. I would love nothing more than to obtain the complete list of Harbaugh family rules. I assume it’s written in blood.
- Jim has been attending A’s games of late and has enjoyed talking with manger Bob Melvin, who was a star baseball player at the same high school Jim attended. However, Jim, always playing things close to the vest, hints that they’re taking things slowly: “The only other thing to report is we’ve been texting each other and I feel like we’re on our way to having a friendship.”
- Jim loves getting foul balls and claims to have caught 20 over his lifetime at major-league games: “Every time I’ve ever gone to a baseball game, that’s my main focus. Going and getting a ball.” Always with the goals, Jim. Also, to be an official Harbaugh foul ball, the ball must be in play during a game, not during batting practice, not when a player tosses a ball into the stands, and not from a ball girl. He also does not count college balls, either. Jim catches foul balls as fiercely as he coaches.