Rookie Reds Spencer Steer and Fernando Cruz made their MLB debuts unforgettable

Cincinnati – Friday night was the disappointing 130th game reds season. The Reds entered the game 24 games behind basics in the Central National League. their opponents Colorado Rockies35 games behind Dodgers in their division and one of only three teams in baseball have been athletically disqualified from winning their league.

With just over a month left in another season with two teams well below 0.500, this was the biggest moment not only in the lives of two men, but throughout their entire orbit.

Spencer SteyerThe 24-year-old and very likely made his senior debut, becoming the 61st player to play for the Reds in this lost season and the tenth to make his Big League debut this season.

Ferdinand CruzThe 32-year-old and in his first year in baseball since 2015, was the 62nd player to play for the Reds and the 11th player to make his league debut.

Among the 16,763 fans announced at Great American Ball Park were moms, dads, a wife, three kids, grandparents, brothers, sisters, friends, former coaches, you name it. In the section for Reds at the top of the lower bowl on the side of First Base, many people had, if not exactly where, the idea of ​​a place they had dreamed of for years.

Spencer Steyer and Fernando Cruz are major pioneers. They will always be great pioneers. For as long as has been, the Reds’ 3-2 win on Friday will be part of their story.

For Steer, it might read:

Debut: Sep 2, 2022 (age: 24-269 days, 22808 in Major League history) vs. COL 2 AB, 2 H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 0 SB

For Cruz, it might read:

Debut: Sep 2, 2022 (age: 32-158 days, 22809 major league history) vs COL 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 SO, 0 BB, 0 ER

This is one way to look at it. In the annals of baseball history, Steer and Cruz have made their mark. In years past, it would be in the Newspaper Box and Baseball Encyclopedia. Now it’s the reference for Baseball, FanGraphs, and There is a physical difference, but both are signs of a lifetime achievement.

During baseball, after rosters expanded on Thursday, players go for their starts in the Major League. These will be the nights many will remember, even at a game that has nothing to do with bunting and whose presence in ‘SportsCenter’ is likely restricted to crawling underneath, for the eagle or the boredom watching on TV highlights college football or an interview with Serena Williams.

On Friday in Cincinnati, Steer and Cruz were bigger than anything else in the sport. In Cincinnati, people who have been around Major League Baseball for years note that both stories are “too good to be true,” or “story.”

And they were.

Steer was supposed to be here. He was expected to be here. He is one of the top 100 potential players according to Baseball America and one of three players twins Send to Cincinnati in exchange Tyler Mahley On the trade deadline. He’s the kind of player who brings hope to the franchise, a player who can be a future building block for the next winning team.

His debut in his storybook started innocently when the second hit of the game hit a ground ball towards him in the third, he entered it cleanly and fired at the start for an easy exit.

In the third round of the University of Oregon three years ago, Steer played only 280 games in the minors before reaching the majors. Ironically, one of the reasons he joined the major leagues so quickly was because of his patience. His patience in the sense of baseball, on the plate. His first appearance in the big leagues, in the second half against the left-wing veteran Kyle Freeland, saw him enter hole 1-2. Then he walked 10 pitches.

“To be 24 and get that approach and you get out on your first hit and still be able to be in the moment and be 1-2 and not get nervous, don’t try to do too much and work on getting out of the way,” said the Reds player. T.G. Friedel, who played with Steer on Triple-A Louisville. “From that moment, we were like, ‘That’s it there. “If you can achieve it on your first hit, nothing will amaze you.”

you did not.

Steer made his second bet, a straight shot into the center field. At Bally Sports Cincinnati, regular play-by-play player John Sadak waived for a special guest, allowing joy photo To do a little advertising. In 2007, Foto’s first hit was a home run to the berm in front of a hitter’s eye on central square at Great American Ball Park, just like Steer.

Steer walked again in his third appearance on the board and then led the ninth game by doubling in the tie game. Register on jonathan indiaChopper, he became the first Reds player to score a round in his first league appearance since Otto Plog in 1932. He was the first Reds junior player to reach base four times on his debut since Jay Bruce in 2008.

“It was unbelievable. I am speechless,” Steer said. “I can’t describe the whole day, having my family here and being able to perform and making them proud. It was beautiful–I don’t know if you could have written it better.”

better? Well, Cruise’s story is longer at least.

back to it baseball reference pageThe story is incredible there alone. Cruz was drafted in 2007 by Royals As a short captain, he became a professional before Votto became a big player. Since then, he has played 511 minor league games, 237 in other countries and 43 in independent baseball.

Reds manager David Bale said Cruz shared some of his story with his team-mates before the match.

“A lot of the time, I’m sure he could have given up or tried something different,” Bale said before the match. “The game will test you. But I don’t think it has tested many people like that.”

Friedel said Cruz almost didn’t even make the Triple-A list out of the spring, but once he did, he was closer than the jump.

“He had that closest mentality and he brought it with him to the heap, and you know something was going to defeat him,” Friedel said. “When I was called, I was very happy for him.”

Cruz spoke with reporters for nearly 12 minutes before the game, talking about his journey from a short stint in the Royals’ system to a time in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and even the MLS.

In Louisville, he saved 23 times and made his way to the major leagues.

“I’ve been through everything an athlete can go through and now I’m here,” Cruz said.

Prior to the match, Cruz was told that the bulls had been taxed for the past two days and that he would be getting work early. He was the first loyalist in the game, climbing to the top of sixth place at the start of the match Luis Sesa. He struck the first blow he encountered, Brendan RodgersI got Charlie Blackmon to fly then hit CJ Crohn to finish the run.

“Nothing crazy,” he said, “didn’t cross my mind when I was doing that, but after I finished, I was like, ‘Wow, what just happened?’ “It was incredible.”

Cruz said he couldn’t see the faces of his three kids in the stands, but he imagined what they looked like in Great American Ball Park, looking down the middle of the field and seeing their dad hitting the first hit he faced on the Big League hill.

It also certainly made his father-in-law, Louis Quinones, a Reds member of the 1990 World Championship and outstanding NLCS champion that year, proud of him. Cruz’s wife, O’Malley, noticed that she was walking around Riverfront Park as a child when her dad was a redhead, and now their kids have to do the same.

Regardless of the team’s record, this is a moment. This is a memory. This is a part of someone’s life that will forever be a great achievement.

Reds players Jake Fraleywho made his first career home run to equalize at 2 in the seventh inning, saw Cruz with his family after the match.

“That’s what’s so amazing about this game, because it’s a very difficult game. You can run all the crazy proportions of what it takes to get to the major leagues, and then stay here for some more of that,” said Fraley. “But when you look at all those factors and after That you have moments like that, it’s all worth the failure. That’s why I love to play this game, for moments like that.”

And that’s why we still love watching. On a night when there are football matches and many other things that can catch our eye, we saw the Rockies and the Reds. We even looked west at Anaheim Zack Weiss, who four years ago had the opposite experience on his Great American Ball Park debut, giving up four runs on a pair of crawlers and walking without retiring, giving him an infinite Era. He didn’t participate in the major tournaments again until Friday night. But now he has an actual number listed as his ERA on his baseball reference page.

“Baseball has a way,” Friedel said. “It’s hard not to be romantic in baseball.”

(Photo by Spencer Steer after scoring the winning round: David Cole/USA Today)