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Goebbert returns to farming roots each offseason


PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- You can honestly say outfielder Jake Goebbert's offseason routine is different than just about anyone else's in baseball.

Goebbert, a non-roster invitee who spent most of last season at Double-A Corpus Christi, works on his family's farm in Illinois in the fall and the winter. Goebbert calls it the "agri-tainment" business, where people come to the farm for six weeks out of the year for hayrides, a pumpkin patch, petting zoo and wagon rides.

"I have a lot of fun working the shop with my father and brother and thinking of ideas and new things for next year," said Goebbert, who grew up on the farm in Hampshire, Ill., about 55 miles northwest of Chicago. "It's been a growing business and something families look forward to, and it's neat because it's a staple in the community."

Goebbert used to be in charge of a small area, now helps his father manage the farm. A busy day for him could include driving a tractor and doing whatever else to keep things running smoothly.

"I just fill in the best I can with anything that needs to be done," he said.

As far as baseball goes, Goebbert, who attended Northwestern, is the type of player Astros management loves. He's a career .285 hitter with 31 homers and 237 RBIs in 456 career Minor League games, but he has a career .363 on-base percentage.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"event":["spring_training" ] }
{"event":["spring_training" ] }
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