Athletics

Heim says family support 'unbelievable' in MLB debut season

Athletics

Jonah Heim’s dad James, his stepmother Jennifer, and grandmother Nancy were sitting on an A’s blanket draped over their couch in the living room of their Buffalo, N.Y. home.

They were waiting for their pizza delivery to show up. We were waiting for Jonah on the Zoom interview. 

Jennifer and Nancy were sporting bobblehead cartoons of Jonah on their white T-shirts, an idea created by Jonah’s girlfriend, Kenzie. 

“Do you think that looks like Jonah?” James asked as he pointed to their shirts. 

It did.

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James is quite active on Twitter (@13_heim), and for Jonah, his father's reputation preceds himself. Jonah often noticed many of his father's tweets rooting on his son.

“I mean, the support’s unbelievable from those guys,” Jonah told NBC Sports California last week. “I mean, I wouldn’t be here without them, just getting on social media afterwards is kind of funny just seeing all the tweets, 'cause I know he gets a little angry during the games so, it’s a good time.”

James admitted since he’s on the east coast, the timing of A’s games forces him to watch alone. That sometimes results in some animated reactions.

“I once said a curse word at a coach for not pitching to Jonah,” James said. Jonah smiled. 

Jonah made his MLB debut this season against the Texas Rangers on Aug. 25. It didn’t take long for him to get a batting average with a single to left field off Kyle Gibson. 

 

He said he didn’t remember it -- he blacked out. 

“It’s kind of a funny feeling, you know, we have thousands of at-bats in the minor leagues and you can recall every single one of them, and then when you get up to the big leagues it’s totally different,” Jonah said. “You take a swing and you get to first base and you don’t really know what happened.”

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Watching his son play in the big-leagues has been “weird” and “surreal” for James, but he’s embraced how much the A’s fans have taken to him and Jonah.

“So far, so good,” James said. 

Jonah had to leave, but not without a quick “I love you,” to the family.