The Etiwanda baseball team was wobbling when the Eagles took the field at La Verne Damien for a Baseline League game on April 2. Etiwanda, a perennial power, had lost four of its last seven games.
Etiwanda coach Don Furnald asked a 14-year-old freshman right-hander to turn the season around.
Brady Ebel isn’t just another ninth-grader filled with big league dreams. He’s lived within whistling distance of the bigs for all of his life just like his father, Dino, the third-base coach for the Dodgers who is known for his shrill whistle that catches the attention of players and coaches nearby and hundreds of feet away in the outfield.
Hall of Fame-bound slugger Albert Pujols was so grateful to Dino for his coaching help that he gave him a 2021 Dodger blue Corvette Stingray as a token of thanks. Dino’s coaching skill can be seen in the play of his son.
Dino, 56, was such an outstanding baseball-basketball player at Barstow High that the school retired his number, 6.
“He taught me to play baseball the right way,” Brady said.
Furnald, the Etiwanda coach, said he has put a lot on the plate of such a young player in the very tough Baseline League.
“He has been phenomenal,” Furnald said. “He has exceeded our expectations.”
As a hitter, he has four home runs. As a pitcher, he’s 4-0 with an 0.27 ERA for the 17-8 Eagles.
Brady, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, said his stature apparently comes from his uncles, who stand well above 6 feet tall. Dino is 5-foot-9.
Brady has a fastball that touches 86 mph. He used it and his breaking pitches to stifle Damien 3-1 on April 2. Brady also hit a home run.
He has lived with his family in Rancho Cucamonga for more than 10 years. He started playing in baseball at the Little League level. He’s played travel ball for seven years. His father’s tenure in Southern California — 13 seasons with the Angels and four seasons with the Dodgers — has provided a stable life for him and his brother, Trey, 13. Their older sister, Destiny, 30, lived a transient life with her parents when Dino was a minor league coach and manager in Vero Beach, Fla.; Albuquerque; San Antonio and Bakersfield.
Furnald said Brady shows no exaggerated sense of importance from his proximity to the majors. Brady was home-schooled when he attended the MLB playoffs and World Series in Texas after the pandemic-abbreviated 2020 season.
“He’s very humble,” Furnald said. “That comes from his parents, Dino and Shannon.”
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