SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Recently, Chris Herrmann walked into the D-backs' clubhouse carrying his 4-month-old son, Crew. It was the first time the catcher's teammates got a chance to see Herrmann's young son, and it was a moment the catcher will not forget.
"It was just such a good feeling," Herrmann said. "These guys supported me and my wife so much last summer."
Most D-backs fans would look at Herrmann's .181 batting average last year and understand that it was a tough year for him.
What they don't know is that the struggles on the field were nothing compared to what was going on off the field, as his wife Shelby endured a difficult pregnancy.
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After complications, Shelby underwent a cervical cerclage in early June, a procedure which involved stitches being placed in and around her cervix to keep the baby in the womb.
"The surgery my wife went through, the chances were like 50 percent of it being successful," Herrmann said.
Shelby was placed on bed rest, and her courage and strength overwhelmed her husband.
"It was hard," Herrmann said. "It was hard for me, but I could only imagine what was going through her head every day. She was the one carrying our child. I always tell her how much of an inspiration she was to me last year, with all that she had gone through. Watching her do whatever she could to save our child just shows that I'm so lucky to be with someone like her."
Herrmann tried to stay focused on baseball when he was at the ballpark, and he won't use it as an excuse for his .181 batting average. He will, however, credit his teammates for helping him get through the ordeal.
"It was frightening," Herrmann said. "When I would go on the road, even when we were home and I was at the field, something could have gone wrong and I wouldn't have been there. My teammates were praying every single day. And I'm not exaggerating. The guys in here who pray, they prayed every single day for my wife and my son. I believe that really did help."
Shelby carried the baby almost to full term before giving birth on Oct. 14. In the process, she inspired her husband and family with the way she handled the situation.
"Tonight I get to go home and get to look at my son and watch him smile at me for no reason," Herrmann said. "He's just happy to be around us and interact with us. It's just such an amazing feeling, because something could have gone wrong and he might not have been here. I'm just so thankful that my wife could stay strong through it all. Because, obviously, if it weren't for her, he probably wouldn't be here. My teammates, though, they played a big part in it as well, so I'm thankful for them, too.
"I'm just thankful."