Family Opening Home to Bucks Players for More Than 20 Years
Written by Elizabeth Amanieh, KWWL Reporter
Waterloo Bucks Host Family For 20 Years and Counting
The past 21 years have been filled with baseball for one Waterloo family. Chico and Peggy Gress have been a host family for the Waterloo Bucks baseball team for more than twenty years.
It takes a special family to open up their home, and the Gress family is just that. They've been playing host to Waterloo Bucks players for more than two decades. From the time you step foot through their door, you know the Gress family lives and breathes baseball.
"We're baseball fans, we've always been baseball fans, and so there was an opportunity to have them stay with you," said Gress.
The opportunity quickly turned into a tradition.
"We've had one player from San Juan, Puerto Rico, from New York, we've had them from California," said Gress. "We've had them from basically across the country."
Chico and his wife Peggy open up their home each season to a new player. When the season comes to a close, they don't just say good-bye, they keep in touch with their players as they go on in their careers.
"He stayed with us first, he was the first Waterloo Buck to make it to the major leagues," said Gress. "Matt Cepicky."
Baseball is a family affair. Their two daughters were also bat girls, and played softball growing up.
"The first thing they do when they come here, we used to say what do you like to eat?" said Gress. "Now we're down to what don't you like to eat? And some don't eat anything. So we always say the refrigerator is yours. Whatever is in it."
Chico and Peggy are always making sure the boys are ready for each practice. For the past 21 years, they've opened up their home and their heart.
"She washes their clothes and treats them like sons," said Gress. "It's hard to get used to a quiet house."
The Bucks will open the season at home on May 30th. They'll be up against the St. Cloud Rox.
The Waterloo Bucks are still looking for host families for the 2017 season, click here for more information.