Seven years, 11 months, and 25 days.
That’s how long it had been from the time Dusty Brown signed his first pro contract with Boston to the night he got pulled out of the shower in Durham to get the news that he was joining the Red Sox at Fenway Park the next morning.
But the 27-year-old catcher had been dreaming of that moment for most of his life.
“It’s awesome. I’ve been playing baseball since I was 5 years old with really nothing else in mind except to be a major league player,” Dusty told me. “If all else fails, at least I’ll have that one game where I was actually in the big leagues.”
(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)
Brown was with the Red Sox for four days and made his major league debut on June 23rd at Washington as he caught the final inning of Boston’s 11-3 win. He is eager to return to the show.
“Only getting three or four days really is just a taste,” Brown said. “Now I know what I’m playing for, I know where I want to be, and I know what it’s like to be there. So it’s definitely always in the back of my mind to get back up there.”
While his call-up was brief, the timing was perfect. Dusty got the news one day after his own birthday, and in all likelihood, close to the birthday of his first child.
Dusty and his wife Jordan are expecting a son that they plan to name Jude (they’re both big Beatles fans) in July.
“It’s actually any day now,” Dusty said. “She had an appointment on Friday and the doctor told her to be ready because it’s probably going to happen any day. Once I heard that I started to get nervous – I hadn’t been since she’s been pregnant, but now I’m starting to get a little nervous about it.”
Jordan is going to have the baby in Boston, so if she goes into labor on this homestand, Dusty should have no trouble being there for the delivery. It gets a little trickier beginning on Saturday as the PawSox head to Pennsylvania (Scranton/WB and Lehigh Valley) for five days before returning home on Thursday, July 9.
If Dusty is worried about missing the big moment, he’ll be happy to know that I was out of the country when my wife went into labor and I still made it to the hospital in time for the delivery.
OK, I was in Canada, but technically that is out of the country.
The PawSox were playing in Ottawa when my wife called my cell phone to say that she had gone into labor and was on her way to the hospital. I hopped into a cab, raced to the airport, and tried to hop on the first flight that could get me to Boston.
Legally, I arrived at the airport too late to board the first available flight but when I explained that I was about to be a father, they waived FAA rules and moved me right through security (remember that guys the next time you’re late for a flight).
I was in Boston by midnight and Sam arrived at 9:55 the next morning.
If Dusty thinks his first stint in the big leagues was awesome, I can’t wait to hear his description of becoming a dad.
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I suspect that catcher Mark Wagner will never forget his Triple-A debut. The newest member of the PawSox scored the winning run in Monday’s 14-inning, 4 hour and 54 minute marathon win over the Syracuse Chiefs.
Wagner arrived with the reputation of being exceptional at throwing out opposing base stealers and gunned down 18 of 29 (62%) while he was with Double-A Portland this year.
But the Syracuse Chiefs decided to see for themselves and tested Wagner by attempting seven stolen bases in his PawSox debut (he threw two runners out).
Wagner was 0-for-5 at the plate, but did draw a one-out walk in the 14th inning before scoring the winning run on a double by Travis Denker.
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Congrats to Jeff Bailey on getting his second call to Boston this year. Bailey replaces Mike Lowell who was placed on the disabled list due to a hip strain and will not return until immediately after the All-Star break at the earliest.
Bailey will bring a hot bat to the Red Sox, and he has a 9-game hitting streak, going 12-for-34 (.353) with 2 2B, a HR, and 8 walks.
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On Tuesday night the PawSox conclude their 4-game series against Syracuse with Enrique Gonzalez taking the mound. I hope you’ll join us for the radio call beginning with the pre-game show at 6:50 on the PawSox radio network and PawSox.com.
I’d love to hear from you. The address is firstname.lastname@example.org.