New dad, new Phillie: Schwarber celebrates 'best day of life'

March 21st, 2022

CLEARWATER, Fla. --  celebrated his four-year, $79 million contract with the Phillies for maybe an hour on Tuesday night, when something truly special happened to him.

His wife, Paige, went into labor.

The Schwarbers forgot about the contract, got in their car and drove to the hospital. Paige gave birth on Wednesday to their son, Kade.

“That’s probably the best day of my life,” Schwarber said Monday morning at his introductory press conference at BayCare Ballpark. “To be able to sign your deal and go right to the hospital to see your kid being born, right? It's crazy how you can fall in love with something so instantly. It was definitely the best day, or best 48-hour span, of my life.”

Maybe one day Schwarber will have Paige and Kade with him as the Phillies parade down Broad Street, following another World Series championship. The Phils signed Schwarber because they believe he can help. They pursued him aggressively before the lockout in December. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said Schwarber’s agent Casey Close was the first person they called after the lockout ended this month.

“We have a lot of good players on our team,” Dombrowski said. “There are a lot. And they had good years for us last year, but we didn't have playoff experience. We needed to have someone with that type of experience for us. You can talk about it, but there's a difference between talking about it and experiencing it.”

Schwarber has made the postseason six times in his seven-year career. He helped the Cubs win the 2016 World Series, their first title in 108 years.

He knows about pressure and expectations.

“Look, I'm in the business of winning baseball games,” he said. “And when you look at this team, from top to bottom -- lineup-wise, looking at the rotation, the bullpen -- this team is a very good ballclub. We’re built to win the [NL] East. We're built to go deep into the playoffs. And you know, that's what you look for. That's what you want to be, you know? I've only won in my career, from when I've been in Chicago, being traded over to Boston, being in the playoffs there, too. I think I've only missed the playoffs one time, and it's an addicting feeling. And you want to keep pushing to that. And when you get to that cherry on top, which is the World Series, you just strive for that every year.”

Schwarber’s press conference will likely be the first of two this week at BayCare Ballpark. Nick Castellanos’ press conference is expected to be on Wednesday. He agreed to terms on Friday to a five-year, $100 million contract.

“Very excited,” Schwarber said. “Being able to play with Nick in 2019, when he was traded at the [Trade] Deadline to the Cubs, talk about a guy who can find some barrels and play the game with some passion. When you can add a player of his caliber into a lineup, it's only going to make you better.

“It’s a deep lineup. We're going to have everything covered from one to nine. And the goal for us, as an offense, is not let that pitcher breathe, right? Like, we don't want him to feel comfortable at all.”

Schwarber could play in his first Grapefruit League game on Friday. He could be the Opening Day left fielder on April 8 against the A’s at Citizens Bank Park.

“It's definitely a great place to hit,” Schwarber said about the Bank. “There’s something there with the backdrop. You've got the brick wall covered in -- it's not ivy, right? What is it? Some kind of growing ivy? -- but there's just something aesthetically that you see the ball pretty well there. I always look forward to the trip to Philly. Obviously, one, for the ballpark, and, two, obviously for the cheesesteaks. It's definitely going to be a fun time to be a Phillie here in these next four years.

"It's not going to be easy, right? Nothing is easy in this game. We can all say it, talk about it, but we got to go out there and do it. And it's not going to be easy. I'm sure there's going to be adversity to face down the line, but we have to be able to adapt and overcome. So it's gonna be an exciting time.”