PORTLAND, Maine — Two weeks ago, the Boston Red Sox called up a former teammate Mookie Betts to make his Major League debut.
For most of us, it was no surprise, yet there is a moment of excitement when the day finally comes. He is an outstanding ballplayer and an even better man who is well deserving of his opportunity to play at the highest level.
I was fortunate to play with Mookie last year in Salem (Class A-advanced) for about half the season, then again this year in Portland (Class AA) for about 2 months.
His promotion is exciting for him personally, as well as the rest of us who have played with him. We see a teammate and friend get rewarded for all of his hard work and celebration fills the clubhouse.
Mookie's first game was just after we arrived in Trenton, N.J. As you can imagine the team was glued to the TV in anticipation to watch Mookie play for the first time in the Major Leagues.
His first Major League game was against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in New York City. I don't know that there is a more exciting regular season moment to make your Red Sox debut than against the Yankees. He went 1 for 3 with a run scored in the game.
For his former teammates seeing Mookie get called up reminds us of how close we truly are. The hot weather, long days and tiring bus trips are all worth the opportunity to pursue playing baseball at the highest level.
Mookie gives us a very tangible reminder that we can see on TV every night of how quickly any one of us could be the next player to be promoted.
Michael McCarthy is a former Cal State Bakersfield pitcher who now plays for the Boston Red Sox' Class-AA team in Portland, Maine. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mmccarthy35