"I just thought everybody played" - Rangers pitcher Jack Leiter shares childhood misconception about every dad being a baseball player

Texas Rangers Photo Day
Jack Leiter of the Texas Rangers

Jack Leiter comes from a family that has seen and accomplished big things on the major league mound.

His father, Al and his uncle, Mark, both pitched in the majors. Even Jack and his cousin (Mark's son), Mark Leiter Jr., are playing as pitchers for the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs, respectively.

With so much blood sewn into pitching, you may excuse Jack for thinking that every dad is a baseball player.

“I just thought everybody played baseball,” Leiter said Wednesday at Comerica Park. “For the 5-year-old me it was an expected thing. As I got older it was a dream, a goal, and then you start to visualize it, and then it becomes a reality.”

On Thursday, the Leiter family made history. When Jack stepped on the major league mound against the Detroit Tigers for the first time after being drafted by the Rangers in the 2021 draft, the "Leiter elders became the first set of brothers to produce sons who have also pitched in the majors," per The Athletic.

“There’s a lot of pitching in our family, pitching conversations,” Leiter said.

Jack Leiter's father's reaction on knowing his son's promotion to the majors

Last Tuesday, Jack was informed to stop by at the Rangers' front office by his Round Rock manager, Doug Davis.

On getting there, Leiter was speechless as he was greeted by the Rangers' coaching staff, who informed him that he would be starting Thursday against the Tigers.

“It was a shock,” Leiter said, “but it was awesome.”

Jack Leiter's father, Al Leiter, was an accomplished pitcher, having won two World Series, a no-hitter to his name and two All-Star selections in his 19-year MLB career.

When Jack informed his father of this news, he had a proud dad moment, as he shared:

“It’s definitely pinch-yourself stuff,” Al said. “A proud dad moment. … I definitely got teary-eyed because I know the work that it takes to achieve this. And they just don’t give these out.” [via NJ.com].

Leiter was on the mound at Comerica Park and his family was in the ballpark cheering him on.

However, it wasn't a great start coming from Jack Leiter, but he knows this is just the start of something special.

Leiter pitched 3.2 innings, in which he gave up seven earned runs, eight hits, three walks and three strikeouts in the Rangers' 9-7 victory over the Tigers.

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