Sights and sounds of Lawlar's memorable debut

September 9th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Steve Gilbert’s D-backs Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox

There were several moments that jumped out to on Thursday night when he made his big league debut at Wrigley Field.

The first was when he ran out to his position for the first time. He took a moment to just look around and realize that his Major League dream had come true.

Then in the fifth inning, when Seiya Suzuki got the Cubs' first hit of the game -- a triple -- Lawlar once again looked around at the crowd.

“That’s when it got real,” he said. “The whole stadium went crazy, and it was just amazing.”

Lawlar got his first hit out of the way in the fourth when he beat out an infield single to third, another experience he called amazing as he calmly chatted with Cubs first baseman Cody Bellinger.

As Lawlar took his position in the bottom of the seventh, he got his first look at a Wrigley Field tradition: the singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Ever since legendary broadcaster Harry Caray passed away, the Cubs have invited celebrities to lead the crowd in the singing of the song, and Thursday it was actor Gary Sinise.

“Just kind of a historic thing,” Lawlar said. “All those people standing up, singing. It was just an amazing thing to take in, and I didn’t want to miss it.”

As for the ball from his first hit, that’s going to his mom, Hope, who was among the friends and family in attendance to celebrate the moment.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said Lawlar would start mainly against lefties, but he put him in the lineup Thursday against a righty so he wouldn’t sit around and have the added nerves waiting for his debut.

Then he started him at short again Friday against right-hander Jameson Taillon for a different reason.

“I love what he did [Thursday],” Lovullo said of the decision. “He brought a certain energy to us. I had some other options, but I just feel like for right now, I wanted to lean on him a little bit and continue to do so.”