If you think about it… a big part of baseball is waiting for calls.
- call to the bullpen
- called out
- calling a ball
- calling strikes (I’m big fan of strikes)
- call me maybe?
- calling interference, infield fly, foul ball, etc.
- (and now there’s even more waiting with instant replay in Major League Baseball)
But on September 6th, 2016… I got a CALL I didn’t know I was waiting for…
When a mInor League season comes to an end each year in early September, every player has that HOPE of being summoned to the Major Leagues. And whether the player’s season was a career year, a roller coaster ride, a lack luster cluster, or just an average grind… each guy has reasoned in his mind a scenario or justification that makes sense how a September call-up could happen.
In my 14 year career I’ve had every kind of season. So not getting the call that sends me to The Bigs has in fact, happened before. And being part of a Brewers Organization with just a plethora of young talent… the need for a veteran side-arm reliever simply wasn’t in their 2016 plans. And so, after the last game in Iowa, and the last shuttle to the airport, and the last flight back to Denver, and the last bus ride back to Colorado Springs, I jumped in my car and headed directly home to Music City Tennessee.
I was in hour 12 of my 16 hour drive, when I got the call. It was the Milwaukee Brewers’ Director of New Media, Caitlin Moyer. She said the Brewers were interested in bringing me to Miller Park for the team’s last home stand for a “Social Media Call-Up.” Strange… that’s a call-up I’ve never heard before. Now at this time, I had been up for 32 straight hours straight… so part of me just thought I hallucinated that whole conversation.
But in fact it was real. Since nothing like this (to my very limited knowledge) had ever been done before… there wasn’t exactly a description for this sort of job. So naturally I agreed to this amazing (and slightly odd) opportunity, and then it was time to brainstorm ideas! THEN, I needed to ask the Brewers permission to execute these new ideas. It went something like this…
- Me: “Can I run in the sausage race as Chorizo?”
- Brewers: “Let us check… Yes.”
- Me: “Can I slide down Bernie’s Slide?”
- Brewers: “Let us check… Yes.”
- Me: “Can I sprint around Miller Park like a crazy person?”
- Brewers: “Yes.”
- Me: “Can I interview coaches?”
- Brewers: “Maybe.”
- Me: “Can I climb the rock climbing wall in right field?”
- Brewers: “Okay.”
- Me: “Can I dubsmash with players and mascots?”
- Brewers: “Can you what?”
- Me: “Can I put Bob Uecker in a video?”
- Brewers: “Good luck.”
- Me: “Can I have 50 bobbleheads?”
- Brewers: “What? Sure.”
- Me: “Can I have a black cowboy hat, 3 beanie’s, a golf cart, security clearance, duct tape, 1 pair of yellow Chorizo socks, 7 giveaway t-shirts size XL, unlimited hot dogs, a large wooden crate, a minivan, access to the clubhouse, ketchup for my hot dogs, a dozen baseballs, tickets to the games, bullpen privileges, and an office… with a window?”
- Brewers: “I think we can cover… some of that.”
And so, the #BrewersLastCallUp hashtag was born, and I had 6 unforgettable days in Milwaukee!