Who doesn't want to join history
In 2008, I made my MLB debut with the San Diego Padres after my 1st Major League spring training and I was a long shot to make the Padres roster with the status of being a Rule Five Selection. In most cases, players selected in the Rule Five draft have a hard time cracking the opening day roster, due to their lack of MLB experience. That Spring Training I had 68 plate appearances and a stat line of; .309 average, 21 base hits, and played every position minus catcher, pitcher and 1st base. I treated that spring training like my only chance to become a major leaguer and I did. I performed out of my mind and my only thought was to carry that momentum right into the regular season, which meant I wanted to become part of MLB history and that was to hit a home run in my 1st Major League at bat!
1st Major League at Bat
Let me give everyone a sense of what it feels like to have your very own 1st Major League at bat. For a moment, imagine it's you. It's opening day and there are 38,000 people in the stands and they are ready to see you play. The Stadium is electric! People are calling your name, asking for autographs, and can't wait to see you get a chance to officially become a Major Leaguer. The Houston Astros are in town and perennial All-Star Roy Oswalt is the starting pitcher. He throws 95+ and you really want a chance to face him. You aren't in the starting lineup, and you have more electricity pumping through your body than the empire state building. After 7 innings of baseball, it doesn’t look like you will get in that night. Another day comes and goes which yields the same result, no game action. It's Day 3 in the big leagues and on April 3rd, 2008 you get the call to pinch hit. For a moment, your heart rate takes off like an F-15 fighter jet, from 70 beats to 200 beats in a half a second. You calm yourself down enough to walk up to home plate with the goal in mind, hit a home run your 1st official at bat. At the time, it only happened 95 times in history. Your name is announced as you're walking up to home plate, the fans recognize it's your Major League debut and lucky for you, it's in front of the home crowd. You proceed with your usual routine, then the pitcher delivers a pitch and it's right where you want it, middle in and you TAKE IT!!!! Strike one, you mutter damn it, why didn't you swing. You quickly regroup for the next pitch. He winds up and you take a nice swing and smoke a ball the other way deep, deep to the warning track!!!!! No home run but you are officially a Major Leaguer and history still made! You are now the 16,876th player to play Major League Baseball.
City of San Fransisco and my Last name
After a 7 game home stand to start the season and only 1 pinch hit appearance, we head north to San Fransisco for a 4 game series against the Giants. Anyone who has been to San Fransisco early in the year knows it can get really cold at night. This night game is freezing and a terrific game at that and I get the sense I am getting in tonight. It's a 1-1 game for most of the night, then 2-2 into the 9th inning. Bottom of the 9th; I get called upon to play left-field for defense, which is my very 1st defensive action as a big leaguer. I hustle out to left-field, sprinting as fast as I could to stay warm because it was freezing. Before I could even begin playing catch, a few college students yell out; hey everyone we got a new guy out here and his last name is Crabbe! And of course, they begin to heckle me, first 4 people, then 50, then 3,000 people start screaming you got STD's, and it continues "You got Crabs, STD's, you got Crabs" and on and on. Then a fly ball hits in the air and I take off back towards the left field fence and the short-stop catches the ball in the infield!!! I totally misjudged it because of nerves (lLOL). Inning over, I take a deep breath and remind myself it's time to get my 1st Major League hit.
My first hit
To this day when I recall this moment, my heart immediately begins to fill with joy. Bottom of the 10th 2-2 game, freezing cold and please click the link, no need to explain. My 1st Big League hit. Many have never seen this!