fbpx
Favorites

© 2022 BVM Sports. Best Version Media, LLC.

Favorites

Big league debuts to be made without family, friends on hand

Big league debuts to be made without family, friends on hand
Royals Baseball - AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The moment that young right-hander Brady Singer steps onto the mound for the Kansas City Royals on Saturday in Cleveland will no doubt be surreal, the culmination of a lifelong dream hatched as a boy growing up in Florida and fostered by family and friends along the way.

Too bad they won’t get to see it in person.

When the decision was made to play an abbreviated 60-game major league season without fans, it meant that anybody making their debut would do so without their support system there to enjoy it. Not mom and dad, who may have gotten them started in the game. Or little league and high school coaches that taught them to throw a curveball or turn a double play. Or the college coaches that may have turned their turned natural talent into the makings of a pro.

Instead, like all baseball fans, they will be forced to watch on television the realization of a goal years in the making.

“We’ve had this conversation internally,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said, “and it’s been so hard just asking guys to have those conversations with their parents, or putting ourselves in their shoes. If my son was called up to the majors, there is no place I’d rather be than in that stadium. It takes a village for these guys to get where they are.”

Perhaps more so than any other sport.

Someone had to teach a kid to catch and throw. To dig in at the plate and choke up on the bat. The time and energy that parents, grandparents and friends put into nurturing the seeds of a ballplayer are almost impossible to count, never mind the financial toll the game can take on a family with a prospect that has big league talent.

So it’s no wonder that one of baseball’s time-honored traditions is for family and friends to be sitting in the stands when a youngster debuts. They are usually interviewed by the television broadcasters between innings, or brought into the radio booth. Afterwards, they’re almost always there to meet their new major leaguer outside the clubhouse.

Well, those interviews may have to take place in their homes. Those tearful greetings at the hotel — if that’s even allowed.

“With Brady, it means the world to have them there. We understand this is not ideal,” Matheny said, “and it’s very hard, but we also asking them, if they’re going to be there and at the hotel, just run them through the different extents were going through as a club to be safe and be healthy. It’s a difficult spot for them but we hope they can make the most of it.”

The 23-year-old Singer was a long-shot to make the Royals’ roster out of spring training, partly because he had pitched just one full season in the minors, topping out at the Double-A level. But he spent the quarantine period refining his craft and he showed up to summer camp throwing as well as ever, opening the eyes of the entire Kansas City staff.

And when fellow starters Brad Keller and Jakob Junis tested positive for COVID-19 — both are now back with the team but not yet ready to pitch in games — it created an opening for Singer in the starting rotation.

“It’s incredible and I’m ready to go,” said Singer, the 18th overall pick in the 2018 draft. “I feel good. I got to do a lot of things here and got to show what I have. I feel like I’ve done really well. I feel strong and I feel better than I ever have.”

He won’t be the only player to make his big league debut this season.

Hard-throwing right-hander Nate Pearson made the Blue Jays taxi squad and will likely be in the rotation come August. The Angels’ top prospect, outfielder Jo Adell, could arrive before the end of September. Right-hander Casey Mize was sent to the Tigers’ alternate training site but is still expected to debut this fall. Young outfielder Luis Robert has designs on not only debuting this season but playing a big part in the White Sox making a playoff run.

“First and foremost, the goal is just win and win the World Series with this team,” Robert told reporters on a Zoom call through interpreter Billy Russo. “That’s the main goal for everybody on this team. Just try to help this team win. I know if the team does well, I’ll be good, too, because I’m going to be part of that success.”

That certainly would be a reason for all those friends and family who helped along the way to celebrate.

Even if they won’t be there to celebrate his debut.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Get local sports news direct to your inbox

Originals

more
Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn makes history with NIL deal

Bayliss Flynn made history in Minnesota by becoming the first high school athlete to sign…

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Bengals RB Trayveon Williams to teach at Texas A&M

Cincinnati Bengals running back Trayveon Williams will be a co-professor of a course for the…

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci brings helping attitude to UNC baseball

Francesco Capocci grew up with North Carolina as his dream school. Now he is a…

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell joins Badgers’ Class of 2023 recruiting class

A.J. Tisdell can shine in Wisconsin under Jim Leonhard.

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Ajani Sheppard: From one year starter to Old Dominion commit

Iona Preparatory quarterback Ajani Sheppard rose from no Division I offers to more than a…

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Northwestern commit Tyler Gant fueled by success on and off field

Three-star Class of 2023 defensive lineman Tyler Gant will look to continue his athletic and…

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Nathan Rourke off to record-setting start for BC Lions

Taking over as the starting quarterback of the BC Lions, former Ohio University standout Nathan…

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is living out a dream with Michigan baseball

Mitch Voit is about to live out his dream of being a Michigan Wolverine and…

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Larissa Preuitt ready to represent ‘dream school’ Alabama

Alabama's reigning Gatorade softball POY is ready to help the Crimson tide win their first…

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson ready to fill ‘big shoes’ at UNC as No. 1 recruit

GG Jackson’s athletic frame and winning mindset have made him the No. 1 player in…

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Why QB Nico Iamaleava should be ranked over Arch Manning

Nico Iamaleava may not have the same name recognition as other quarterbacks in his class,…

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is ready for Minnesota baseball

Sam Kennedy is one of the best pitchers in the state of Minnesota and he…

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina leads Nazareth to championship

Louisville commit Nick Drtina led a young and talented Nazareth Academy team to new heights…

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s DI dreams come true thanks to Panola

Matthew Etzel’s dream of playing DI baseball is coming true.

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis’ QB origin story to being a Kentucky Wildcat

Will Levis has become the face of the Kentucky football program and a potential first-round…

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

Atalyia Rijo bringing star-power to Arkansas softball

The top-ranked softball player in the state of New York and recent Gatorade Player of…

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard excited for NHL Draft before UMD hockey debut

Isaac Howard has one stop at the 2022 NHL Draft before he heads to Duluth…

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee brings San Luis Obispo pride to MLB Draft

Brooks Lee has become a role model in his hometown of San Luis Obispo. With…

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning, No. 1 recruit in 2023 class, commits to Texas

Arch Manning announced on Twitter that he will be continuing his football career at the…

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee making jump to Alabama, SEC baseball

Evan Chaffee's journey from Hamburg to becoming an Alabama baseball commit heavily involved Vanderbilt, an…