It’s not very often that a coach gets to coach a set of twins. In Rich Zuber’s case, he had not one, but two sets of twins on the Pine Forge Senior Babe Ruth team - Brent and Bryce Deiter, and Tyler and Ethan Emel.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Tyler and Ethan and find out what it’s like playing on the same team with their twin brother.
They started playing baseball at the age of five. Their older brother (Wes) played, and their father Larry was his coach. Tyler and Ethan watchd their brother play and eventually got to play on the same team.
“The three of us practiced with my dad and it actually came pretty easy,” said Ethan. “I think that’s why we stuck with it for so long.”
“It’s real nice,” said Tyler. “That was real exciting being able to play with our older brother when we were young.”
Ethan feels that it’s fun being able to play with his brother. There’s always one person out on the field who you know will always have your back. Ethan always knows where his brother will be on the field and what he’s going to do on the field.
“Having someone like that is real nice,” said Ethan.
“There’s really nothing like it,” said Tyler. “Your best friend is out on the field and playing right next to you. You know what he can do. It’s exciting to sit back and watch it happen. I know there’s one guy on the team that I don’t have to worry about.”
Sometimes taking advice from your sibling isn’t always easy, but when you have a twin who knows what you’re thinking and what you’re capable of, that can make it even harder - especially in the heat of the moment. Tyler feels that it isn’t that hard to take advice from Ethan, because he would rather get advice from him than anyone else on the field. He knows that his brother won’t give advice unless he sees him struggling during the game.
“You saw what he did in high school and the stats he put up,” said Ethan. He’s just a phenomenal ball player. It makes it that much easier when he’s my brother. He can do it on and off the field it doesn’t matter”
Having a sibling on the team, you know where the other person will be on the field and what they’re thinking. When Ethan was playing third base, he knew that Tyler (who plays second base) would be at the base ready to turn the double play. Ethan could throw the ball to second base without looking and know that his brother will be there.
The bond between the two brothers is very close. The two have played many other sports as well, usually on the same team. Tyler feels that playing any sport with his brother is a lot of fun.
“Where it really shows is on the baseball field,” said Tyler. “I’m always here for Ethan, and he’s always there for me. Every time I come up to the plate, I can hear Ethan cheering. It’s really nice having that support there and it’s always there.”
“We wouldn’t be as close of brothers as we are without baseball,” said Ethan. “It really has brought as a lot closer. We’re very similar people, as far as the sports we’ve played and things we done in our lives. It does bring us a lot closer. It’s nice to have someone there to play with.”
Ethan is attending Drexel University, while Tyler is attending Montgomery County Community College. Tyler is going to play at Montco, but Ethan has to wait and see how things go with his school work.
This year was their last time of ever playing baseball together and after their last game at Pine Forge. It was a hard thing to swallow for both of them. “It stinks. You never really want it to come to an end,” said Ethan. “We had so much fun over the years, it’s really hard to put those years behind you and say it’s over, If I could play another 10 years of baseball with Ty, I’d do it in a heartbeat.”