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HomesportPirates Drew Magee, 33, makes his much-anticipated MLB game against the Dodgers

Pirates Drew Magee, 33, makes his much-anticipated MLB game against the Dodgers

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After 13 years in the minors, 33-year-old Drew Magee made his long-awaited MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Magee, who was called up on Sunday from Double-A Altoona, entered the game in the bottom of the eighth inning to hit out to Andrew McCutcheon with Pittsburgh leading 8-1.
  • He received a standing ovation from the PNC Park crowd before hitting against Dodgers reliever Alex Phezia.
  • The utility player played in 1,155 minor league games over 13 seasons.

the introduction

The Pirates called Maggie up from Double A on Sunday after placing Brian Reynolds on the casualty list. Magee spent the last two matches on the bench.

When Reynolds was activated on Wednesday, outfielder Kanan Smith-Njegba was demoted to Triple A and that meant Magee got more time to fulfill his dream of hitting in the big leagues after playing in 1,155 minor league games over 13 seasons. .

Ahead of Wednesday’s game, manager Derek Shelton said he wanted to include Magee in a match but made no guarantees.

“My commitment, and I think Drew understands that, is to all 25 players at that club,” said Shilton. “If we find the right place where we think he can help us win the game, he will play.”

When the Pirates took a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning Wednesday, Magee had a good feeling.

“I started thinking, ‘This is your night,’” Magee said. “The guys started hitting, we started rallying, we started rolling, scoring. I took off my shirt, trying to feel how cold it was. I’ve probably cleaned my glasses 45 times. I have to be clean for that bat.” – birtmpville

the decision

The Pirates put the game out of reach in the seventh inning by battering them to make it 8-0. In the dugout, bench coach Don Kelly and hitting coach Andy Haynes began pressing for Magee.

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“I was like, ‘Don’t talk about this until we’re past eight,’” Shelton said. “As we kept adding (runs), I was like, ‘Okay, we’ll be in a position where we can do that.

Designated hitter Andrew McCutcheon was slated to second in the eighth. When Shelton went to talk McCutcheon, the veteran was already wearing a hoodie and indicated he was done for the night.

“I think if I hadn’t told Catch (to make room for Maggie), Catch probably would have told me,” Shelton said.

Chilton turned and saw Maggie.

“He just looked at me and said, ‘Are you ready?'” “Yeah,” I said. “You’re hitting,” said Maggie. “It was kind of like, ‘It’s your time, let’s go.’ I liked the way he did.” — birtmpville

at-bat

Umpire Jeff Nelson walked away from the plate to allow Maggie extra time to catch the moment. The crowd of 12,152 began chanting Maggie’s name.

“It felt like a packed house,” Magee said. “It was crazy. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to take my helmet off or what. It’s the coolest thing that has ever happened to me.”

Vesia’s first pitch was a 94 mph fastball to the top inside edge of the strike zone. Magee whipped it high and hard down the third base line.

“I knew it was bad right away, but I was happy with the outcome,” Magee said. “He told people a long time ago that I didn’t care where he was, I was swinging that first pitch. If I hadn’t, I would have regretted it.”

A court clock violation sent Magee down the count from 0 to 2.

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“No comment there,” Maggie said with a wry smile. “Yeah, that was hard.”

Magee fouled out of the field, caught a ball, then hit it while swinging.

As he returns to the bunker, Maggie receives a second standing ovation.

“I have never been happier because of a strike in my life,” Magee said. – birtmpville

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Magee’s parents, siblings, and uncle were at PNC Park to watch his debut. After the game, the family gathered near the edge of the dugout for hugs, smiles, and photos.

“My mom was crying,” Maggie said. My dad was… I’ve never seen my dad cry. So it was emotional.”

The Pirates will play their final series finale against the Dodgers on Thursday, then begin a six-game road trip to Washington and Tampa Bay. The club has not indicated whether Magee will stick with the team or return to Double A.

If it turns out to be Mage’s only bat in the majors, was the long wait worth it?

“One hundred percent,” Magee said, “because I love baseball.” “I’ve been grinding for 13 years, but I’ve been doing what I love. I came here, my name is in history. I put on an A-League uniform. I shared the field with the greatest player in the world. I can finally sleep at night, hopefully.” – birtmpville

background story

Magee was drafted in the 15th round in 2010, and the Pirates system climbed to Double-A Altoona but was released in 2015. After that, he bounced around the minors with five organizations. On September 18, 2021, the Twins called Maggie up to the majors when Rob Revsnyder suffered an elbow injury. Magee spent three days on The Show but was sent back to Triple A without appearing in a big league game. Last summer, the Phillies traded Magee to the Pirates, and he came to spring training this year as a non-roster invitee but failed to make the Opening Day roster.

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According to MLB, Maggi became the ninth-oldest player to debut in the AL/NL in the expansion era (since 1961), excluding players who began their careers in a foreign league.

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(Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

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