Emaus enjoying life after major leagues
by Doug Gorman
Brad Emaus proved last week you can go home again — and to a hero’s welcome.
The former major leaguer, who set record upon record for East Coweta’s baseball program, returned to Sharpsburg recently to take part in an alumni game.
He was then surprised to have his high school No. 27 jersey retired during a pre-game ceremony, before watching his alma mater defeat Douglas County 12-1 in a Region 3-AAAAAA game.
Now, a No. 27 banner hangs in left field and the number will never be worn again by an East Coweta baseball player.
“It was great to be back,” Emaus said. “I just want to thank everybody who had a part in putting this on. It was a great evening, and it was good to see so many friends and former teammates.”
Emaus set 18 high school records during his time on the diamond with the Indians from 2001-2004 and was drafted in the 18th round of the June 2004 amateur draft by the hometown Atlanta Braves.
He elected to put his professional career on hold, however, instead signing with Tulane University where he played third, second and first during a college career that included a trip to the 2005 College World Series.
A decade after his last game in a East Coweta uniform, Emaus still has many fond memories of wearing the purple and gold, especially helping the Indians advance to the Class AAAA state finals where they finished runners up to Colquitt County his junior season.
“We had some really good teams and we won some really big ball games,” he said.
During his stint with the East Coweta, the squad didn’t lose too much, compiling a 92-25 record and making the playoffs all four of his seasons as a starter.
“He was a special ballplayer,” DeLoach said. “All of those guys helped put East Coweta baseball on the map.”
Emaus is quick say he was surrounded by some really good teammates.
He was among nine Indians from its Class of 2004 to sign a college scholarships while joined by Kyle Bedrosian, Brett Butts, Brett Mitchell, Jason Plummer, Jamie Spear, Taylor Walker and Kurt Swygert.
“We had a great bunch of guys,” he said. “There are just so many memories.”
By the time he headed to New Orleans to play for the Green Wave, he left behind an impressive high school baseball resume which included a .426 career batting average with 27 doubles, 13 triples, 25 home runs, 122 RBIs and 68 stolen bases.
Emaus and his teammates helped set the standard for future Indian baseball teams.
“Now, it is a disappointing year if East Coweta doesn’t make a run in the playoffs, but before Brad and his teammates got here, we weren’t very good.They changed all of that,” Deloach said. “We are expected to make the playoffs now, and they helped get it started.”
The former Indian had a standout college career with the Green Wave, earning All Conference USA Tournament honors in his freshman season.
He was eventually drafted again, this time by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 11th round of the 2009 draft.
“College really prepared me for life in so many ways,” he said. “It taught me about time management. It made me a better baseball player, and it got me ready to do other things.”
He made the New York Mets opening day roster in 2011, but was designated for assignment only 14 games into the season due to his status as a Rule 5 Player. He didn’t make a single error.
The short stint had a final stop at Turner Field, where DeLoach remembers reuniting with his former infielder.
“We yelled down to him, and he saw us and motioned us down. We walked through a mass of people standing around the dugout and we got to talk to him for several minutes. He made us feel really welcome,” DeLoach said. “He is just a hometown guy who remembers where he came from.”
After being returned to Toronto, Emaus played in the minor leagues in both the Red Sox and Rockies organizations before playing for the Mets’ Triple A team in Buffalo during his final stop in 2012. .
Emaus gets back to Coweta County several times a year to visit his parents Mark and Rhonda.
“It is always good to come home,” he said.
These days Emaus keeps his hand in baseball as the owner of 643 Hitting Academy in his current hometown of Monroe, La. — also known for being home for the Robertson Family of “Duck Dynasty.”
“I work with players of all ages,” he said. “I am having a good time with it.”
Even though he has probably played his last game as a professional, he is enjoying life with wife, Simran, while ready for whatever the next chapter brings.
“Life is really good,” he said. “I am staying busy and just trying to live life to the fullest.”