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Bonding with family brightens Gennett's holiday

December 18, 2017

CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett had the type of 2017 season that many kids might wish to have granted from Santa Claus. The Reds second baseman not only got to play for the team he grew up cheering for as a native of greater Cincinnati, he had a breakout year, too.

CINCINNATI -- Scooter Gennett had the type of 2017 season that many kids might wish to have granted from Santa Claus. The Reds second baseman not only got to play for the team he grew up cheering for as a native of greater Cincinnati, he had a breakout year, too.
Gennett, 27, hit 27 home runs and collected 97 RBIs for Cincinnati after being claimed off waivers from the Brewers on March 28. His season featured a four-home run game on June 6 vs. the Cardinals, and he even got to pitch an inning. He also slugged four grand slams, joining Lou Gehrig as the only two players in history with a four-homer game and four grand slams in any season.
To cap off his storied year, Gennett joined an annual MLB.com tradition of answering questions about the holiday season.
MLB.com: You spent your early childhood in the Cincinnati area. What was it like having the holidays here?
Gennett: A glove, a bat or anything baseball was always awesome on Christmas. There was always some type of Reds-related gift. Even when we moved down to Florida, I always got something Reds-related because that's what it was all about for me.
MLB.com: You grew up in Lebanon, Ohio, an idyllic small town near Cincinnati.
Gennett: It is a smaller-type town. But Reds country extends farther than Ohio, where people within a four-hour radius are impacted by the Reds. Lebanon is only 30 minutes away, but it was like we lived in Cincinnati. I just went back to Lebanon and talked to some high school kids. It's just awesome how everything works in a full circle sometimes. I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to go back to where I grew up, talk to kids and share some wisdom or experiences of my own to help benefit them. It's just great to be in that position.

MLB.com: What is your favorite thing about the holiday season now?
Gennett: I think it's great because it's the time of year when family comes together. The main focus isn't what I'm buying for somebody or what they are buying for me, but it's, 'How do I make someone else's day?' Or it's, 'How to make someone's Christmas or Thanksgiving?' That's what it's all about. It's being around the people you care about and who care about you.
MLB.com: Do you have any special holiday plans this year?
Gennett: We're going to hang out in Sarasota, Fla. We went on the Reds cruise [in November], and that was a good experience. For the most part now, we'll just hang out in the house. I'm already in full swing with working out, hitting, throwing and stuff like that. We're just going to enjoy the rest of the offseason. Then it's a solid eight months of being on the go.
MLB.com: Do you have a favorite holiday movie?
Gennett: "Christmas Vacation" is the best. Cousin Eddie and the whole movie relates kind of to my Mom's side of the family and cracking jokes. My Dad's side of the family is the quiet side and serious. That movie perfectly shows my family, in a way. But the characters are different and act in different ways. I don't have a cousin that rolls in with an RV and empties it out in the front ditch. That's my movie.
MLB.com: How about a favorite holiday song?
Gennett: I like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. Kids all love it. If you don't love that song, then there's a problem.
MLB.com: Finally, do you have a holiday wish for Reds fans?
Gennett: Yes. When we're winning next year, that for all of them to show up and pack it in every night.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.