A father’s legacy from the field to life lessons

Featuring Nate Robertson

Written by Julie Hying

In our ever-changing and chaotic world, the foundations we build must be strong and our choices filled with conviction and commitment. Some of the lessons we learn seem easy and effortless. Others may be more difficult and learned over time. All of these are valuable and contribute to who we are and the roles we play in the lives of others. Among these leaders, mentors and role models are outstanding men who embrace the crucial role of fatherhood.

Kansas native and former MLB athlete Nate Robertson understands this role as he shares his outgoing and candid nature, positive attitude, his integrity and character with his own three children as well as the young men on Maize’s high school baseball team where he serves as a pitching coach. He has committed his time and energy, contributing to our incredible city. A longtime owner of the Wichita Wingnuts, he enjoyed supporting that team and helping to grow their program. Additionally, Nate has been a part of various local fundraisers including Wesley Children’s Hospital’s annual charity event, Wine Women & Shoes.

Nate’s own baseball career began in Miami and soon after, in 2003, Nate was traded to the MLB team in Detroit where he pitched for the Tigers for the next seven years. Being part of a Major League Baseball team means a life of travel and flexibility. So as Nate and his wife Kristin had their son Wyatt in 2008, his focus was shared between his professional commitment to his team and his love for his family.

As Wyatt has grown, he and his father share in their love of the game. Wyatt, now thirteen, attends school and pitches and plays outfield for the ICT Rangers. A natural leader on and off the field, he loves to have his dad come to his games and practices, as well as run through aspects of the game with him. Nate shares that, “Those are some priceless moments, ones to really breathe in and enjoy because you never get them back.”

Nate’s daughter, Shea, threw the family a curve ball when she was born with Down syndrome. Now seven, she is the light of their lives. Nate describes her as someone who doesn’t know a stranger, is warm and kind to everyone and completely unjaded: “Shea sees the world and life as everyone should see it, full of fun and love.” She’s a sports lover with an amazing perspective about what’s important, taking time each day to enjoy being with people and playing outdoors.

One more surprise, the pregnancy of their daughter Brielle, brought joy to Nate and Kristin. She is almost three but runs the Robertson family like a boss. A sassy spitfire full of spirit and enthusiasm, she’s also a sports lover and shines on the soccer field. Although independent and strong, Brielle admires and looks up to Shea and Wyatt.

Nate’s love of baseball may have come from the countless hours he spent with his own father and brothers on and off the field. His dad coached many of the teams he and his brothers played on, and baseball was often a topic of conversation. A military man who spent many years in the Army Reserves, he instilled a strong sense of character, commitment and integrity in his sons — lessons Nate now shares with his own children.

“These aspects are so important in life, the lessons we learn and those we take away and share with others.” Nate knows his father has had a significant impact upon his life, as well as many other young men he coached throughout the years. He recalls many of his dad’s birthday parties where former players would stop by to reminisce and help him celebrate.

Those lessons Nate learned from his dad have influenced him and left an indelible imprint on his life as a player, as a father and now as a coach. Nate values time spent as a pitching coach at his alma mater, Maize High School. Those young pitchers are gaining knowledge and expertise from someone who has dedicated years of his life to the game of baseball. “I hope to help them develop their skills and provide leadership, but also help them become the best young men they can be.” Nate and others passionate about baseball can attest to the fact that the dirt diamond is a place where valuable life lessons can be shared and learned.

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