Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Finally Aaron Thompson makes MLB Debut
FINALLY AARON THOMPSON WILL MAKE HIS MLB DEBUT!
Ok, I understand that this isn't going to impress a lot of people or get national coverage like Stephen Strasburg's debut, but I am VERY excited for this. Aaron was a 1st round pick of the Florida Marlins out of high school in 2005. When I was younger, I really liked the Marlins a lot mostly due to Gary Sheffield. My brother is a Marlins fan so I've been keeping up with the team and their prospects over the years.
During the offseason this past year, the Nationals released Aaron Thompson and the Pirates picked him up. He pitched the very first inning of spring training for the Pirates and struck out all 3 batters he faced. Granted it was an exhibition game against a college and the Pirates mostly sent out non roster invitees to the game, but Aaron and the Pirates won that game by a ridiculous amount of 21-1.
Fast forward a couple months and Aaron is in AA pitching for the Altoona Curve. I went to every Curve game played against the Trenton Thunder this year and I think the players started to recognize me.
Starling Marte, the Pirates top positional player, saw me in the first row behind the dugout and said "Hey man, you want a bat?"
"Are you serious?" I asked
"Yeah, but it's cracked. You want it?"
"Hells yeah" I said rather excitedly
"Come after the game and I'll get him to sign it for you" Starling said as he slid the bat up over the dugout.
I was slightly confused by that comment as I thought I was getting his bat, but when he handed it to me I saw that it had said Aaron Thompson Pittsburgh Pirates. Aaron had just pitched the night before and the bat still had fresh sticky pine tar all over it. There were only 2 other Pirates/Curve fans at the game and all night long, one of them was offering everything from his popcorn and peanuts to a Dave Parker autographed baseball he had at home when he saw that Starling had given me the bat. That bat wasn't going anywhere.
After the game was over, Matt Curry had made the last out and as is typical he tossed the ball to the fans. That fan happened to me. So all in all it was a good haul that night. An Aaron Thompson bat and a game used Eastern League AA Minor League ball.
I didn't get a chance to meet Aaron after the game by the buses because I was running late for work, but I did manage to buy an autographed photo off ebay for $12 shipped.
All in all, I wish Aaron the best of luck today against the hottest team in baseball. I'm rooting for you. LET'S GO BUCS!!!!