About six months ago, the lives of Ned and Sandra Yost changed for the better.
In the hospital room, a new bundle of joy named Amberlin entered the world, turning the husband and wife pair into a new family of three. What was once just a pair making their way as a couple in the minor leagues turned into a balancing act between baseball and parenthood.
"The realization really didn't come through until she was born," said Yost. "The mother obviously has a special bond because she's growing inside of her and (she's) going through the kicks and the punches, but it didn't really hit me until I saw her for the first time.
"When she was born, she didn't really cry at first. She came out, looked at her mom, then looked at me and was like 'here I am!' That's when it really hit me."
All of a sudden, life revolved around little Amberlin for the Yosts. A lot less time is spent on oneself and a lot more time is spent on taking care of the family's newest addition.
"Everything's geared towards her," said Yost. "Making sure she's fed on time. Making sure she gets down for her naps. Making sure she's comfortable at all times. Making sure she's not too hot and not too cold. We've set up our daily schedule around her.
"You learn something new every day, especially at this age. No one can really prepare yourself for it until you go through it."
One of the more recently-learned aspects of parenthood for the Yosts is logistics, especially when baseball season comes around in March and April.
"In the past, it was pretty easy," said Yost. "We'd just load up and go, but now we have to cater to her and her being so young to travel was really difficult. I drove out to Spring Training. They flew, and my wife was terrified of flying with a two-month-old by herself on an airplane. The thing that got her was the time change. She goes down for a nap every two to three hours or she gets cranky, so that big three hour jump from Georgia to Arizona messed her up for a couple days timing-wise, but she acclimated.
"Then, there's the baseball schedule. During the offseason, she was down in bed by 8 p.m. every night. Here, the games don't start still 6:40 p.m. and we didn't finish until almost 11 p.m. last week. She's switched her schedule to a little later, so she now sleeps until 9:30 or 10 a.m. and is up until 11 at night."
The scheduling and logistics may be tough, but the constant travel away from home for one of the newest additions to the Sky Sox coaching staff might just be a bit tougher.
"I want to spend as much time as I can with my family," said Yost. "I'm out here at 12 or 12:30 p.m., but I get the mornings with my family. We get up, we have breakfast, and we have walks. I sit down and play with her. It's nice when we're home. It's a lot more difficult when I'm out on the road because I don't get to see them and it's not quite the same on the phone."
Thankfully for Yost, one certain app has been able to bridge the geographical gap and keep the family connected across the country.
"Thank God for FaceTIme," said Yost. "I couldn't imagine doing this 10 or 15 years ago before FaceTime was around. I do that two to three times a day. Every time I do that, her face lights up and she laughs and gets excited."
At the center of the operation that is parenthood is Yost's wife, Sandra, who Yost is quick to note how valuable and important she is to both Yost and Amberlin.
"She had a good job in a doctor's office and she knew when we got married that something had to give if we wanted to be together the whole season, so she quit her job," said Yost. "The first couple years of marriage were easy. I worked in Florida, where she grew up and where her friends and family lived, and we would go to Georgia in the offseason, where we lived and spent it with my family.
"This is the year that has really been trying. This is the first year that we're really living away from Florida, coming to a state where we didn't know anyone, and having a young daughter on top of that who constantly needs her. It's been an interesting transition for her. I don't how she's done it, but she has and she's the real MVP without a doubt."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.