Clash of the Comptons: Sons of 2 Turnpikers share name, compete on baseball field
Gavin Compton stepped to the plate, summer sun screaming down as he adjusted his stance, hoping for a homer.
Little did he know that on the opposing team, getting ready for a big catch, was none other than - Gavin Compton.
No, the Lancaster County Youth Baseball League did not get trapped in some sort of temporal vortex. It was just a coincidence that both teams’ lineups contained a young player named Gavin Compton. But the coincidence doesn’t end there. Both Gavins are right-handed but bat left-handed, are 13 years old, are in seventh grade, and both of their dads work for the PA Turnpike.
It started when District 3 Electrician Brent Compton was keeping score at his son's baseball game and a familiar face walked into the press box.
You're Mark,” Brent Compton said, surprised to see his boss, CEO Mark Compton, no relation, bringing him the opposing team’s lineup, where a name caught his eye – Gavin Compton.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Mark Compton recalled. “Both of us thought the other one was making it up.”
It was just too strange not to have a little fun. The way the boys found out was during the Little League pledge that kicks off most games, Mark Compton asked for Gavin Compton to come up to the mound – but two players stepped forward.
“I believe that was first time I realized there was another person with the same first and last name,” Brent’s Gavin said. “I didn’t know what to do. I think the dads were in on the joke.”
It’s been about six years since that first matchup, and the Gavins have played each other at least once per season in youth baseball and in middle school basketball, with Mark’s Gavin playing at Manheim Central and Brent’s Gavin playing at Garden Spot in New Holland. Not only did it turn into a friendly rivalry, but it has become a bit of a motivator, too.
“I always try my hardest to play better than him,” Mark’s Gavin said. “My friends like to joke about it. They say, ‘Who got the bigger hit? Who got the best catch?’”
Mark’s Gavin was proud to have a diving catch in his last game, hearing his teammates cheer, “That’s the best Gavin Compton!” But in the same game, Brent’s Gavin got more hits.
Both boys enjoy playing sports, and both say they like being active and being part of a team. And they thrive on the competition – particularly when it comes to their moniker-sharing counterpart.
“I like to think about it as a competition to see who’s better, but it’s really cool and not many people get to experience something like that and play against someone with the same first and last name,” Brent’s Gavin said.
Mark’s Gavin wants to get a photo with their backs to the camera, showing their names on their opposing jerseys. And whether it’s on the baseball field or the basketball court, he said he’s looking forward to many more matchups in the coming years.
“I think it’s going to be lot of fun continuing to play with him,” Mark’s Gavin said.