GREAT FALLS — Christian and Christopher Coipel are two Cuban brothers out of Miami who have reconnected in Great Falls to share the field again, but this time at the professional level.
Christian, the younger of the two, was the first to receive a call from Voyagers manager Tommy Thompson with an offer to join the team.
“First it was exciting because I heard a lot of good things about not only this league but about Tommy himself,” said Christian. “A lot of guys that I know and grew up playing with have played for him or knew of him. And it was a lot of decisions to be made but once Tommy called me I just knew it felt right. I look more into the atmosphere of playing like if it’s home.”
Just a few weeks after being with the team, Thompson went to Christian and began asking about his brother Christopher. Not too long after Thompson expressed his interest, Christian was able to make the call to his older brother with Thompson next two him to break the news.
“One day I was in Miami just playing a Sunday league game and I got a phone call from Christian,” said Christopher. “All of a sudden Tommy was in the background on the phone and he goes ‘Hey this is Tommy Thompson, what’s up, how are you?’ And ever since then, I talked to Tommy and I’m here now.”
This being just their first year with the Voyagers means it is the first time they have played together in almost seven years. Christian transferred high schools during Christopher’s senior year and that was the last time they shared the field together.
“Honestly it’s a blessing to play here first of all, and secondly obviously with my brother,” said Christopher.
Even though they haven’t been on the same team in a long time, they choose to keep it professional when they are participating in team related activities and make sure to hold each other to the same standards as every one else.
“Being here in professional baseball, it doesn’t matter who’s in the locker room in my eyes,” Christian expressed. “Yes he’s my brother but I’m going to treat him like a teammate and hold him accountable like anybody else.”
With Christopher being a pitcher and Christian being an outfielder who knows his way around the plate, they have had some intense battles between the mound and the plate.
“When we faced each other in the offseason it was pretty good battles over and over,” said Christopher. “Iron sharpens iron…he did get me once or twice but I did get him back too.”