Todd Kerkering couldn't hold back his emotions as he watched son Orion's major league pitching debut, which comes after a meteoric six-month rise through the minors
There is crying in baseball — as far as Todd Kerkering is concerned.
The 59-year-old retired Marine couldn’t hold back his pride (and tears) on Sunday night as he watched his son, Orion Kerkering, make his major league pitching debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“I guess it was just seeing the kid,” Todd told The Athletic. “I don’t know. I’ve seen a lot of good things. I’ve seen a lot of ugly things in my life. I guess maybe it’s a culmination of all those things through life and you finally reach a point when you get to something that is just unbelievable.”
He added, “I mean, there are 900 guys roughly in the MLB right now at that level. And he’s one of them. You know? I mean, I don’t know. It’s just what came out.”
Not only that, but Orion, 22, went 1-2-3 in the 8th inning and struck out two batters, and Todd was seen crying throughout the inning.
The Phillies went on to win the game against the New York Mets 5-2, bringing the team one step closer to clinching a wild card berth in the playoffs.
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The baseball phenom, meanwhile, began the season a long way from Philadelphia. Six months ago, he was pitching in the Single-A Florida State League, per The Athletic.
When your son, Orion Kerkering, makes his MLB debut and gets two strikeouts ... there IS crying in baseball. pic.twitter.com/7DFhixpcmb
— MLB (@MLB) September 25, 2023
In 50 appearances, he was promoted across five levels of the minors, with 44 of those being scoreless. Orion had a 1.48 ERA, 81 strikeouts and 12 walks, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Orion’s sudden rise — and the success of his slider on the mound Sunday — was emotional for everyone.
"Being here in Philly, probably one of the best feelings ever," the reliever, who got a water bath from teammates post-game, told the outlet. "It was an awesome moment, it was a real moment. I heard everyone was crying. Great for TV, so can't complain."
Orion added about his dad: “He’s been crying ever since I told him. He was tearing up at work. I felt bad. But I started tearing up when I told him. I think I started crying more there when I told him I got the call. Just trying to see it from his reaction made me happy.”
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