Drew Maggi waved to Pirates followers earlier than getting into the field for his first MLB at-bat. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
If you are judging the MLB season by vibes solely, the Pittsburgh Pirates is perhaps the most effective staff in baseball. After being thought-about one of many worst golf equipment getting into the season, the staff boasts a top-10 offense, a top-10 pitching workers, a resurgent Andrew McCutchen and a division-leading 17-8 file. There’s loads to be completely happy about in Pittsburgh.
And should you wanted proof of that, look no additional than Wednesday’s 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Pirates not solely toppled one in every of baseball greatest titans in the course of the contest. It additionally gave baseball followers the feel-good second of the 2023 MLB season.
It occurred within the backside of the eighth inning. With the Pirates forward comfortably, 33-year-old rookie infielder Drew Maggi stepped the plate for the primary time. After 13 seasons within the minors, Maggi lastly made his major-league debut.
Pirates followers gave Maggi a standing ovation — and teammates cheered him on — as he was introduced over the loudspeaker at PNC Park.
Maggi even took a second to acknowledge the group, briefly waving to followers earlier than he stepped into the batter’s field. Kudos to house plate umpire Jeff Nelson, who allowed Maggi to have his second with out dinging him for a pitch-clock violation earlier than his first official at-bat.
It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the rookie had his first “welcome to the massive leagues” second. After fouling off the primary pitch he noticed from Dodgers reliever Alex Vesia, Maggi bought dinged for a pitch-clock violation for taking an excessive amount of time to get set. Fans — and McCutchen — booed as Nelson made the decision.
Maggi fouled off the following pitch and watched the third pitch of the at-bat sail excessive out of the strike zone earlier than placing out on a slider. The ball briefly bought away from catcher Austin Wynns, who rapidly recovered and threw out Maggi as he tried to achieve first base. As Maggi jogged off the sphere, followers continued to cheer him on.
Maggi spoke about his look after the sport, saying he was grateful for the assist from the home-town followers.
Drew Maggi lastly will get his second
Even probably the most passionate baseball followers weren’t conscious of Maggi’s story till lately. After making the choice, the staff launched footage of Maggi lastly getting the decision. His teammates applauded as Maggi sat within the clubhouse in shocked silence.
When he ultimately bought to his ft, Maggi’s first phrases have been “holy f***.”
Maggi was initially drafted by the Pirates within the fifteenth spherical of the 2010 MLB Draft. He superior to Double-A in 2013 and spent a number of seasons there earlier than getting referred to as as much as Triple-A in 2016. He’s spent the final six seasons principally in Triple-A, although was assigned to the Double-A Altoona Curve to start the 2023 MiLB season. He performed 8 video games with the Curve in 2023 earlier than lastly getting the decision.