The A's Ramon Laureano capped a magical 48 hours with a walk-off single in his Major League debut
Meet Ramon Laureano. Originally selected by the Astros in the 2014 Draft, the outfielder was traded to the A's in 2017 for pitcher Brandon Bailey.
On Friday, the A's announced that they'd called him up from Triple-A Nashville, with whom he hit .297 with 14 homers and 35 RBIs in 64 games this season. A's manager Bob Melvin placed him in the No. 9 spot in the lineup for their series opener with the Tigers.
To say he had a "storybook" debut would be putting it mildly. Starters Blaine Hardy and Brett Anderson traded zeros deep into the night, and the game went scoreless into the 13th. Enter Laureano, who dazzled the Minors with his throwing arm from the outfield. He did the same for the A's, to the chagrin of Jose Iglesias:
In the bottom of the frame, he book-ended his remarkable debut with a two-out, walk-off single (his first career base hit) to give the A's a 1-0 victory.
That put him in some rare company:
Since RBI became official stat in 1920, Ramón Laureano is first A's player to have walkoff RBI hit for first MLB hit & first since Kyle Farmer (LAD, 7/30/17). Laureano is 2nd Dominican-born player to have walkoff RBI hit for first MLB hit (also: NYY's Alfonso Soriano, 9/24/99).- AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) August 4, 2018
That swing ended a pretty magical 48-hour period for Laureano. Getting the news that he was headed to Oakland probably felt pretty special, right? The exact moment he'd hoped and dreamed and worked toward for years, finally coming to fruition?
Thanks to the Sounds, you can see the very moment he was informed of the news, which came in the dugout during their game Wednesday night courtesy of manager Fran Riordan:
Ramón Laureano started for the Sounds on Wednesday. He didn't know his first call-up to the big leagues was in the works. This was in the 6th inning Wednesday night. CC: @espn, @MiLB, @Athletics pic.twitter.com/HYfcXlqJg8- Nashville Sounds (@nashvillesounds) August 3, 2018
"I was shocked, speechless. It was a great moment," Laureano told MLB.com's Eric He of the big reveal. "He played a joke. I don't think I was going to get traded because it was after the Trade Deadline, but I knew what was going on because all my teammates were behind me."
Yep, that's a great scene. Laureano's parents, girlfriend and agent were in the stands on Friday night, and they were treated to quite a show.
And, on a night of firsts, Laureano got the full celebration afterward:
🥧 is back! pic.twitter.com/h9ZDEXGDhQ- Oakland Athletics 🌳🐘⚾️ (@Athletics) August 4, 2018
So many emotions!