John Bormann woke up on Sunday morning thinking he’d be playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, Florida. He ended up staring down the Miami Marlins.
Before that could happen, the 24-year-old Single-A catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system had to make it across the state in three hours, alert his family, his teammates and his friends and somehow convince himself that this was actually happening.
With Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli out with a sore foot on Sunday, the Pirates needed a backup catcher to fill in. Bormann, conveniently playing in the Florida State League, made the most sense to them.
Speaking with the media in Miami, Bormann relayed the moment he was told he was going to The Show.
“I’m thinking, ‘Maybe he misspoke. Maybe I’m going to Altoona,'” Bormann told the Associated Press. “But he said, ‘No, we’re serious. You’re going to Miami.'”
First pitch between the Marlins and Pirates was at 1:17 p.m. Bormann said he got the call at 9:00 a.m. and reportedly had to be there by noon.
He made it to Marlins Park without any issues and, amazingly, the catcher who wasn’t even invited to big-league camp at spring training, made it into the game in the 9th inning.
He struck out swinging against Jarlin Garcia as Pirates fell, 10-3.
This is one of those awesome baseball moments that makes it easy to love the game. Being in Single-A usually means you’ve got a long road ahead of you. Bormann, if only for an at-bat, got to take a shortcut.
That wasn’t lost on manager Clint Hurdle, either.
“Imagine, when he woke up today, he was going to go on a bus to Port Charlotte, maybe play, maybe not,” manager Clint Hurdle told the media in Miami. “He ends up playing in a major league game. Those types of things in the organization we’re aware of.”
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