(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The wait for Kris Koerper to see his brother, Joe, and the rest of his family Saturday evening was almost too much too handle.
"I was really, really looking forward to them coming to town," Kris said. "I didn't sleep last night, kind of like a kid on Christmas."
Joe Koerper wrapped up his two year Mormon mission trip in early June. He joined his family for a trip to be reunited with his older brother, Kris.
"It was tough to be away from family. That was probably the most difficult thing," Joe said. "From the whole experience, I think that's one of the major that I gained was an appreciation for my family and what they mean to me."
In all, there are five Koerper brothers, and Kris says they are a close knit group.
"My brothers and I are all really, really close, so anytime we get to see them after we haven't seen each other for a while is a blessing."
Kris went on a two year mission trip after his senior year of high school, during which he did not have much time to pick up a baseball. Now it is Joe's turn to get back into a groove on the diamond, this time as a member of the New Mexico State baseball team. He took batting practice for the first time in two years with the Mustangs before their game against Joplin, and is looking to his older brother for guidance.
"I feel like I can relate to him," Kris said, "and the experience that he's having coming back and playing baseball after not playing for two years. I can relate and help him out."
As Joe works out with the Mustangs while he is in St. Joseph throughout the next few days, his chances of playing for the defending MINK League Champions in 2013 could be increasing.
"I believe the chances are pretty strong," Kris said with a laugh. "I won't say yes or no yet, that's his decision. But Coach (Matt) Johnson's already starting to convince him."
And Joe is not shying away.
"I'm definitely open to coming next year," Joe said. "We'll see what happens, see how this season goes and see what my summer plans are. But I'd love to come, especially if they want me here."