Behind the Plate with Kevin Plawecki

Behind the Plate with Kevin Plawecki

Photos by Kim Stahnke

Cleveland Indians Catcher Embraces his New City and Fatherhood

Eight-month-old Kasen Plawecki already likes swinging a Cleveland Indians cushy bat.

“He hits hard with it,” his mom, Tayler Plawecki, 27, says with a chuckle.

It’s no surprise that Kasen would already show some early signs of sports skills. His dad is Kevin Plawecki, catcher for the Cleveland Indians, and his mom played soccer at Purdue University in Indiana.

Kevin Plawecki played three seasons at Purdue, where he met his wife. He was then selected by the New York Mets in the 2012 draft. He made his Major League debut in 2015 with the Mets and played there until he was traded to the Cleveland Indians in January.

Kevin Plawecki and son, Kasen, walk Progressive Field.

“It’s a great group of guys,” Kevin Plawecki says of the Cleveland Indians. “It’s a lot of fun so far, and I look forward to growing those relationships, which will hopefully translate to a lot of wins on the field.”

The couple has been embracing their new team, as well as their new home.

“We felt elated and emotional,” Tayler Plawecki says. “We were so grateful. We had so much fun with the Mets, but were excited for this new chapter for our family of three.”

“I love Cleveland and the fans,” says Kevin Plawecki, who grew up in Indiana, where his parents still live. “My wife and I were excited to come back to the Midwest. The people here are great and support the team really well. It’s fun to play in front of this different atmosphere.”

The family explores the indoor slide and playroom at the Kids Clubhouse, located on the Family Deck of Progressive Field.

The 28-year-old, who also played multiple sports growing up, such as football and basketball, says he fell in love with being a catcher.

“I have been playing (baseball) ever since I could remember,” he says. “I really like the competitiveness and the challenge of it. Catching was the position that I was most successful at. I realized I really liked the call of the game.”

Plawecki played on travel teams and his high school team. He remembers his family traveling across the region for his baseball tournaments and not having a weekend free, with his parents being his biggest fans.

“It was all about effort and never about the results,” he says about what his dad taught him. “That is one thing, to do things the right way and at 110 percent. I can’t wait to instill that in my son. To make the world a better place at the end of the day; I can’t thank my dad enough for teaching me that.”

There are many moments the couple is looking forward to with their son, Kasen, but right now they are enjoying their son’s first year.

From left: Tayler, Kasen and Kevin Plawecki.

“It was the best day of my life when he was born,” Plawecki says. “It’s obviously a joy to see him do new things. Every day, every month he does different stuff. Right now, he is starting to crawl.”

Plawecki also says he has been putting a toy baseball in Kasen’s hand and so far, his son holds it pretty easily in his right hand.

“I can’t really describe how truly amazing he is as a dad,” Tayler Plawecki says. “Kasen has a dad that little boys dream of having. When Kevin is home, it is all hands on deck.”

The baseball season can be challenging for the couple, but they make the most out of the time at home.

“We know what we signed up for, and I have the greatest wife in the world,” Plawecki says. “She is taking care of Kasen while I am gone. It’s part of the grind of baseball season.”

Tayler Plawecki says she is grateful they get to live this life and that Kevin gets to live out his childhood dreams.

“Kevin does a great job of separating work from home,” she says.

Photo provided by the Plawecki family

She also says their new Westside neighborhood has welcomed her family, bringing them treats when they moved in. They are enjoying some of their new region’s sites, such as visiting the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, local parks, shopping at Crocker Park and having lunch in The Flats in downtown Cleveland.

While this is Kevin’s first Father’s Day, the Indians will be taking the field on June 16 against the Detroit Tigers.

The couple doesn’t have big plans (although Kevin’s ideal Father’s Day, if the team didn’t have a game, would be to sneak in 18 holes of golf and then spend the rest of the day with the family).

Kevin Plawecki says it takes a lot of patience and understanding, however, fatherhood is a lot of fun.

“We don’t take any day for granted, especially during the season,” he says. “We try to enjoy moments we get to spend while we can.”

About the author

Angela Gartner has been the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine since 2014. She has won local and national awards for her features, columns and photography over the years. Previously, her work appeared in publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers and The Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy every weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She is also a board member and past president at the Cleveland Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. She loves reading, writing poetry and taking the family's Scottish Terrier on walks.

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