A veteran minor league baseball player finally got called up to the show after playing 13 seasons on Double and Triple-A teams.
Drew Maggi played a whopping 1,155 games as a minor league player, before learning that he was getting his shot at the big league at 33-years-old.
The infielder delivered his first three-hit performance of the season on April 14th, handily helping the Altoona Curve crush the Erie SeaWolves by 4-2.
The following Saturday, the Curve’s manager, Calix Crabbe, who also serves as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ assistant hitting coach shocked Maggi with the news that he was getting promoted.
“In spring training, we talked about how life is like a journey. We talked about three words. We talked about perspective. We talked about choice. We talked about grit,” Crabbe said in a video filmed in the team’s locker room.
“Some of us have had the chance to be in the major leagues and it was for one day. And there’s going to be some of us are going to get a chance to take that one day and turn into one plus,” he continued.
“And so it is with great pleasure that I get to promote my first person to the major leagues and someone that is tremendously important to this group and someone that exemplifies grit,” Crabbe concluded in the a viral clip that was viewed three million times.
Maggi was shirtless and visibly stunned while the team clapped for him, then finally rose to his feet and exclaimed, “Holy s–t. Let’s f–king go!”
The journeyman player was called up once before by the Minnesota Twins in 2021, but didn’t play in either of the two games he was optioned for, before the team sent him back the minors.
“Obviously, I would have loved to get in there and it didn’t happen, but everything happens for a reason. Now, I’m just a little more hungry,” he said at the time.
Though he was worried that he might not get another chance. “You always believe that you can get another shot, but as you get older, you have that in your mind: ‘This could be it for me,’” the infielder remarked.
When Maggi made his long-awaited Major League debut as a Pittsburgh Pirate on Wednesday, the crowd gave him a standing ovation and chanted his name.
“I can’t explain how I was feeling in the box,” he told UPI News.
“I didn’t even know what to do. [The crowd] was cheering me on. I never expected that. I thought I’d make my debut and it would be a normal at-bat.”
Unfortunately, Maggi struck out as the designated hitter, and learned that he was being demoted back down to the minors.
Despite that knowledge, Maggi showed up the next day when the team kept him active during as the 27th man during their double header against the Washington Nationals on Saturday.
His first turn at bat came during the 7th inning of the second game of the day, where he cracked his fist Major League hit for an RBI single that put the Pirates ahead by 13-0.
“I didn’t know how long I was going to be up here,” Maggi recalled. “I really wanted to get a hit.”
“I’ve been kind of thinking about it the past day, two days. When I got in there, I was just trying to slow everything down. They were cheering my name, and I was just trying to breathe.”
“It was like the perfect hit, too, ’cause I saw it go right through the middle, and it’s so vivid in my mind right now,” he told Yahoo! Sports. “I was so happy I got it done, got that weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Maggi closed the game with his first career extra-base hit during the ninth inning, and despite being sent back down to Double-A, he’s glad he finally got his shot.
“Just hearing that you’re a big leaguer, it’s a different feeling,” Maggi commented. “I got to a certain point where it was like, ‘You know what, it doesn’t matter. I love playing baseball.”
“As long as I have a jersey on and I’m having a good time, whatever.’ That little Major League barrier, I always knew I could do it. When it finally got said, I broke down.”