Schimpf records 1st big league hit in 1st career at bat for the Padres

Published 8:50 am Monday, June 20, 2016

San Diego Padres third baseman Ryan Schimpf was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in fifth round of the 2009 MLB Draft and on Tuesday, he made his major league debut.

Schimpf, who was playing for Triple-A El Paso in Texas, had been in the minor leagues ever since he was drafted. Then Monday, when he got the call that every baseball player dreams of.

El Paso had a late game that went 13 innings that El Paso won 2-1.

He got ready for bed, but his daughter woke up.

After taking care of his daughter, he began to fall asleep. It was around midnight, 12:30 p.m. when the phone rang. It was a call he’ll never forget.

“It was my manager Rod Barajas (for El Paso),” Schimpf said. “He told me how great I was doing (.355 batting average, .432 on base percentage, 15 homers, 48 runs batted in and 36 runs scored this season). I was wondering where this was going and he told me he hoped I could continue this in San Diego. My mom and dad were in town and I asked them if they wanted to extend this trip a little longer and go to San Diego. It was a moment I’ll never forget.”

Schimpf, who lived in Bogalusa for part of his childhood and played little league at the Airport Ball Fields and at the Ave. B. Field, arrived in San Diego around 1 p.m. Tuesday and made his major league debut that night as the Padres hosted the Miami Marlins.

Schimpf stepped to the plate for his first major league at bat with one out in the second.

“It was something you always dream of and wonder what it could be like,” Schimpf said. “I had been waiting for that moment for a long time. I tried to approach it like any other at bat. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Big relief when I saw it was going to get down for a hit. It was also very special to have my family up in the stands supporting me.”

Schimpf took an outside curveball on the first pitch for ball one and, then he swing through a fastball for a 1-1 count.

But on the third pitch, the 2006 St. Paul’s graduate ripped a curveball that was in the lower part of the strike zone into the right field corner for a one-out double to a standing ovation by the Padres fans.

“It a lot of emotions going on for sure,” Schimpf said. “Kind of relief, emotional — a lot of thoughts obviously. I wanted to get in there (at second) safely. I was thinking about my family and all of those who have supported me over the years and have been hanging with me up to this moment and have helped me get to this moment for sure.”

Schimpf later scored on an RBI single by Alexi Amarista.

Schimpf was part of LSU’s 2009 World Series Championship team. That year he hit .336 with 22 homers and drove in 70 while scoring 73 runs and he was successful in 18-of-25 stolen base attempts.