DENVER -- Fathers and sons often go hunting together. Father's Day reminds Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez of family hunting trips -- but with a different twist -- with his father, Euro, and his brother, Euro Jr.Euro Gonzalez worked as an auto mechanic in Maracaibo, Venezuela, but it was more than work. It was a passion. So the family would set out for the various states of Venezuela, but the youngsters knew to keep an eye out for big game, at least in their father's eyes. That would be any broken-down car. "We'd go to rivers, mountains, but whenever anybody had a problem with their car, my dad would stop and help them," Gonzalez said. "Of course, that was when Venezuela was not that dangerous. Certainly now you can't do that, but it was fun to see him do that back then. "He loves cars, a lot. He always wanted to be able to fix them." Gonzalez said his father liked baseball, but only as a hobby with friends in the neighborhood when he was young. Dad tried to introduce young Carlos to the finer points of how a car runs, but couldn't pass the bug. But it was OK with Euro. Since Carlos had found baseball, his dad didn't push.
And Gonzalez said his father had a no-pressure attitude toward baseball, one he appreciates."I've seen so many kids' parents pushing them to go play baseball," Gonzalez said. "They want them to be a baseball player so bad, they don't even care. It's too bad a lot of people do that to their kids. Let them do what they want to do. Maybe they want to be a pilot, but their parents want them to be a baseball player. "My dad gave me my space. He believed in my ability but he never put any pressure on me." Baseball and autos came together in 2003, a year after Gonzalez signed with the D-backs organization as a teenager. "My first car was a 2001 Honda Civic, and it was really nice," Gonzalez said. "It was used, so he was my mechanic." Gonzalez said he didn't totally reject his dad's interest in mechanics, but he took an interest in automobile aesthetics. "My dad when he was young really liked the muscle cars, and he got me into it," Gonzalez said. "Most of the time we'd watch TV together or look at pictures. Back then, there were not a lot of car shows. "I used to have a Mustang in Venezuela, but not anymore. I have a Ferrari. That interest comes from my dad."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.