After 10 years in the Minors, Paulo Orlando hit a triple in his big league debut
Since the White Sox originally signed Paulo Orlando out of Brazil and away from a track and field career in 2005, he has slowly been working his way through the Minor Leagues. Though a trip to the Major Leagues certainly looked unlikely early on as the speedy outfielder needed four seasons before being traded to the Royals and getting beyond Class A Advanced.
Not that it was necessarily his fault. Given the popularity of soccer in Brazil and how few ballfields there were, the speedy outfielder didn't get much practice in growing up, playing baseball only two days a week.
Orlando said of his time growing up:
When Orlando replaced Alex Gordon in left field to make his Major League debut on Thursday, it was already a momentous occassion. After all, Orlando is only the third Brazilian to ever play in the big leagues with Yan Gomes and Andre Rienzo being the others.
It became an even bigger day in the fifth inning. After drawing a walk in his first plate appearance, Orlando drilled John Danks' offering to the left-center gap. Showing off the speed that made him a track star and lead to 34 stolen bases in Triple-A last season, Orlando raced into third base for his first big league hit:
Not a bad start to his career. If Orlando can keep lacing hits to the gap and Yan Gomes can build on his 20-home run season from 2014, we're guessing that baseball won't be a weekends-only hobby in Brazil for long.