We all have a family member, a close friend or a co-worker we can depend on to help us if we find ourselves in a tight spot.
D-backs superstar Corbin Carroll has someone like that in his life, too. The only difference is that Carroll’s go-to is a World Series hero. It’s all part of an amazing story that he recently retold at MLB headquarters.
It was 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic had shut down many aspects of life around the world, including the Major and Minor League Baseball seasons. So the D-backs invited Carroll, their first-round Draft pick from the previous year, to their alternate training site in Scottsdale, Ariz., to get some at-bats.
Carroll and his mother, Pey-Lin, made the 1,400-mile drive from their home in Seattle and arrived in time to go through intake testing the day before camp opened. They were told to quarantine and not go anywhere. But the 19-year-old Carroll was filled with nervous energy.
“I can't sit still, so let’s go take some batting practice,” he said.
Mother and son headed to Chaparral High School a few miles away, and Pey-Lin got on the mound to serve up some BP.
"She's pretty good,” Carroll told MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert last year. “She's a lefty, too, so that's a good angle for me to see.”
One problem: Once the afternoon batting practice session was over, the pair found themselves locked into the high school’s parking lot. Who could they call?
Carroll phoned his agent, Joe Urbon, who got a hold of D-backs assistant general manager Amiel Sawdaye. Sawdaye then made the pivotal call to Luis Gonzalez.
“I did have to explain to my mom who exactly this was that was coming to get us,” Carroll said. “... I show her the video of him winning the World Series.”
Gonzalez -- who works in Arizona’s front office as a senior advisor to the president and CEO -- showed up and rescued mom and son from their predicament. That is how a legend of the D-backs’ past first crossed paths with a star of the D-backs’ future.
“That was my first time meeting him,” Carroll said, “so he won't let me forget that.”