With Orioles set for playoffs, Zach Britton and wife expecting first child

Club's closer plans to welcome boy at induction Oct. 9, a scheduled day off in postseason

September 24, 2014|By Eduardo A. Encina | The Baltimore Sun

NEW YORK — With the Orioles preparing for the postseason, closer Zach Britton is anxiously anticipating the birth of his first child, and his baby boy’s arrival could come in the middle of the club’s playoff run.

Britton’s wife, Courtney, initially was expected to give birth in late-October, but the due date was pushed up to Oct. 14, when the Orioles could be in the midst of the American League Championship Series.

So the Brittons sat down with their doctor and looked at the playoff schedule. Now, Britton’s wife is scheduled to be induced Oct. 9, which is a scheduled day off between a possible Game 5 of the AL Division Series and Game 1 of the ALCS.

Provided the Orioles advance from the Division Series, Britton plans to fly to his home in Southern California to be with his wife on the day off and return in time for the ALCS opener.

“I’d fly all the way there and then make it back,” Britton said. “I don’t want to miss my kid’s birth. I figure that’s a crappy way to start out being a parent, not being there when he’s born. But I’m also going to be there for the team, so we can make it work both ways, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”

An ideal scenario for Britton would be if the Orioles face the Los Angeles Angels in the ALCS. Game 1 would be in Anaheim, Calif., so he wouldn’t have to fly anywhere to rejoin the team.

“It works out pretty well,” Britton said. “We didn’t want it to be her going into labor right before a game. We were hoping to induce before an off day. Originally, her due date was the 14th, so the 9th is the earliest he sees that we can induce.

“The doctor said, ‘You can’t just be like, he’s coming here at this time. That’s not how it works.’ But the doctor thinks we should be OK. And if he comes early, then hopefully he will come the 7th, when it’s an off day. Hopefully he has good timing.”

Since Britton took over as closer on May 15, he leads the major leagues in saves, converting 36 of 40 opportunities. On Tuesday, he became the eighth left-hander in AL history to record 36 or more saves. He became the third Orioles left-hander to accomplish that feat, joining Randy Myers (45 saves in 1997) and B.J. Ryan (36 in 2005).

eencina@baltsun.com

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