SUGAR LAND, Texas — On the way to the diamond in Sugar Land, we found a real gem. One who gets a jersey, lots of hugs and his own spot in the dugout.
It’s the real VIP treatment because Matt Giansanti is a very important person in one player’s life.
“He's just he's an absolute superstar and a godsend and the rock star and everybody loves him and, you know, it's he's the greatest thing in my life and it's not even close,” said Anthony Giansanti, the Sugar Land Skeeters’ former team captain.
Anthony is also Matt’s brother. But that’s only part of what makes these two so special.
Matt, or Mattie as he’s known, is living with Down Syndrome. When he’s at Constellation Field, visiting from Pennsylvania, Mattie’s one of the guys.
“Anyone who’s ever spent time with someone with Down’s, they know how pure and genuine they are,” Anthony said.
And when he’s not here, it’s hard on both brothers.
“It hurts me a lot, not seeing him,” Mattie said during an interview with KHOU 11 on August 17, 2019.
They’re used to it, though.
For more than a decade, Anthony has crisscrossed this country – and Mexico – playing ball, living every kid’s dream.
What’s the best part of having a brother in professional baseball?
“He’s always truthful,” answered Mattie, 32. “He’s honest.”
Mattie continued but within his personal Top 3? There was no mention of baseball.
“Does he love baseball?” KHOU 11’s Jason Bristol asked Anthony in 2018.
“He just loves me, you know what I'm saying?” replied Anthony. “But most importantly, I know he loves me. And I mean, I could be out here playing chess and he would just love it.”
These two are more than just brothers, however.
Anthony and Mattie are twins.
Their story is how each has his own unique abilities, which make the other one better. Whether its crushing baseballs 350 feet or melting the hearts of everyone he meets.
“Do you ever wonder why him…why me?” asked Bristol.
“You know, my parents did a really good job making sure that didn't happen,” Anthony said.
“He's always been a reference point to me to stay humble and just appreciate and be grateful for everything I've been able to be a part of in this life. And having him along with me for the ride, it's … you know, I always get choked up talking about it because people always say, ‘You know, he's lucky to have [you],’ but it's an astronomical difference of how much more lucky I am to have him.”
Unfortunately, Mattie could not make his annual trip to Texas because of the pandemic.
“It’s par for the course in 2020,” said Anthony via Zoom back in December.
Anthony, now in Mexico, won’t be returning to Sugar Land to play for the Skeeters since the club is now part owned by the Houston Astros and will be a Triple-A affiliate.
But that’s life. With the help of a very important person, Anthony knows a diamond is not the only place to find clarity.