It didn't take Oscar Taveras long at all to announce his arrival in Major League Baseball. The St. Louis Cardinals top prospect officially got the call up on Saturday morning, and in his second career plate appearance on Saturday afternoon, he launched his first career home run off San Francisco Giants right-hander Yusmeiro Petit.
The solo shot broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning and was an absolute no-doubter to right field at Busch Stadium. The 21-year-old phenom, who many say is the Cardinals best hitting prospect since Albert Pujols, connected with one of the prettiest swings you'll see from a player at any level. And he definitely enjoyed it, too, holding on to the bat for a couple steps before releasing and going into a home run trot that will likely become very familiar in St. Louis.
That's picture perfect.
Really, the entire sequence was picture perfect and almost felt like a scene straight out of "The Natural." Just prior to Taveras stepping up to the plate, the skies opened up and the rain began to fall, sending many fans scampering for cover. It didn't serve as a deterrent for Taveras though. Instead, it provided a cool backdrop as he rounded the bases.
Then, as he entered the Cardinals home dugout, his new teammates stood together in a perfect single file line to greet him. Sometimes you'll see the rookie get the silent treatment. Other times teammates all gather at the steps waiting to smack him on the helmet. The Cardinals set up was a little different, and it almost seemed like a collective sign of respect for what Taveras had just accomplished.
Of course, Cardinals fans also appreciated the accomplishment. They remained standing in the rain and wouldn't sit down until Taveras emerged from the dugout for a curtain call.
Taveras obliged, and just a couple minutes later, the game actually went into a rain delay.
The game has since resumed, so Taveras' first hit and home run won't serve as a pseudo walk-off home run. The chance to add to his already special day does exist though, and we'll certainly keep you updated as to how the rest of his afternoon plays out.
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