If you’re looking for a feel-good story, look no further than San Diego Padres rookie Rocky Gale. The 29-year-old catcher has spent the last seven-plus seasons playing almost exclusively in the minor leagues, but his patience and perseverance all paid off with one glorious swing during Wednesday’s 13-7 loss to the Diamondbacks.
In the second inning, Gale connected for his first career home run — a two-run shot against Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray in the second inning. That’s the same Robbie Ray who earned an All-Star selection this season and should get his name on everyone’s Cy Young ballot.
It was a great battle too. Gale worked the count full and then fouled off three straight pitches before squaring one up and sending it over the left field wall.
The epic at-bat was made even better by the result, but the best part was seeing the sheer joy on Gale’s face as he rounded the bases. A childhood dream was being lived out before our very eyes, and it was incredible to watch those emotions come through.
Find someone who makes you as happy as Rocky Gale's first Major League home run made him. pic.twitter.com/xeTgR0TwJA
— Nathan Ruiz (@NathanSRuiz) September 21, 2017
How awesome is that?
Gale is not known as a home run hitter. He’s accumulated 2,008 at-bats in the minor leagues after being drafted by the Padres in the 24th round of the 2010 Draft, and during that time he only hit 11 home runs total. This marked his 11th at-bat ever in the big leagues — he went 1-for-10 during a brief stint in 2015 — and his first of the season.
Hunter Renfroe, on the other hand, is well known for his power. The Padres rookie outfielder entered Wednesday with 81 homers in the minors and another 25 in the majors. He drilled three more homers in San Diego’s loss and could easily hit hundreds more before he’s done playing.
Not a single one in this game could overshadow Gale’s moment. He made the most of what will probably be a rare chance in the big leagues. In the process, he made a lifelong memory for himself while providing a genuine moment we won’t soon forget.
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