Rookie Likes His First Pitch

Axil Baddoo homers in debut, touching off a parental celebration
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2021 3:43 PM CDT
Rookie Likes His First Pitch
The Detroit Tigers' Akil Baddoo (60) is greeted by Jeimer Candelario after Baddoo's home run Sunday in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

"Let your family know you're getting your first start on Sunday," Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch told Axil Baddoo, the Free Press reports. That was a good call. Baddoo did play Sunday, smashing the first major league pitch he'd ever seen for a home run. It came in the third inning in Detroit, off Aaron Civale of the Cleveland Indians. As it sailed toward the bullpen in left field, Baddoo raised his arms in celebration. And Baddoo's parents were in the stands, per WDIV.

Not only was it Baddoo's first MLB game, the 22-year-old had never played above Class A until now, per the AP. He was a Rule 5 draft pick who wasn't expected to make the team this year but had a spring training that the team couldn't ignore—hitting .325 with five home runs in 50 plate appearances. The Tigers' cable network posted video of the home run, including the reaction of his parents. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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