MLB debut a 'dream come true' for Vaughn

April 3rd, 2021

made his Major League debut Friday night at Angel Stadium in Game 2 of the 2021 season.

His debut arrived one day before his 24th birthday, but more surprisingly, it came with Vaughn in left field. The top White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, had never played left until three starts in Cactus League games were brought about after Eloy Jiménez sustained a rupture of his left pectoral tendon. But the even-keel young talent once again seemed ready for the challenge.

“Yeah, the biggest thing is all the work I’ve been doing, just go out there and catch it,” Vaughn said. “Like I said before, knowing Luis Robert is to my left, and he’s got the gold patch on his glove so he’s pretty good at what he does. If I just do my part and catch the ones that are supposed to be caught, I think it will be good.

“Every kid dreams about this growing up. The dream is to get to the big leagues. It’s pretty surreal. I’m just so honored to be here and everybody that has helped me on this path to get here so far is in my life for the better. I’m pretty excited.”

Vaughn, who is from Santa Rosa, Calif., had his mom, dad, sister, girlfriend and groups of friends from home who lived close to Angel Stadium in attendance. He chose jersey No. 25, in part, because his mom’s birthday is on Sept. 25, but also for the players who've worn it before, including Hall of Famer Jim Thome, who worked with Vaughn during Spring Training.

“They gave me a list and I looked them through and obviously 25 stuck out,” Vaughn said. “I just want to represent it right and do my thing.

“It’s a dream come true. That’s one of the dreams, and now you have to keep on going and get after it every single day.”

Daryl Boston, the White Sox first base and outfield coach, has put in extensive outfield work with Vaughn, including an afternoon workout Friday with Jake Lamb. Vaughn feels as if the work has made a difference.

“Definitely. Just reading the ball off the bat is the biggest thing,” Vaughn said. “Taking live reads in BP has been huge and getting used to how the ball spins toward the line. These guys are pretty strong at this level so the ball backspins and it will travel a little farther than you think. Just knowing you have to get behind it.

“I think it’s good. It’s just finding out where your starting position [is], where’s your straight up and then learning to move off of that for certain hitters and knowing where I gotta be. Just seeing game speed and being ready for the ball. Just being prepared every pitch.”

La Russa looks forward to Aaron being celebrated

Manager Tony La Russa got to know baseball legend Hank Aaron during their very brief time together as Atlanta teammates in 1971. They remained friends until Aaron’s passing on Jan. 22, and even with the 2021 All-Star Game and MLB Draft relocating from Atlanta, La Russa looks forward to Aaron’s legacy being celebrated at the Midsummer Classic.

“I had the chance to see his personal greatness, not just his professional greatness,” La Russa said. “From that day until he passed, I had a good friendship with him, just to realize what a beautiful man. I am looking forward to them honoring him. In fact, Atlanta was perfect. Now we just have to change the venue.”

The decision was announced Friday by Commissioner Rob Manfred more than one week after the passage of S.B. 202, a Georgia law that will restrict voting access for residents of the state.

Third to first

• Bob Grim, the White Sox senior director of business development and broadcasting, retired Friday after 31-plus years with the organization. Grim, a hugely popular figure in the organization, joined the White Sox in 1990 as director of promotions.

“His ability to make sure people have a good time while ostensibly not at all looking out for himself, just making sure everybody else has a good experience, is unmatched,” said White Sox television play-by-play voice Jason Benetti of Grim.

• The White Sox entered Friday 4-20 at Angel Stadium since May 18, 2013. They were 38-63 vs. the American League West since 2017, including a 16-36 record on the road.

He said it

“No. 1, I noticed the swagger, the swagger of the team as a whole. And No. 2, I noticed the bullpen, it's tough to ignore. That's not to take anything away from the starting rotation and the position players. Top to bottom, it's a deep team. I'm excited to just be here and help these guys win some baseball games.” -- Lamb on what he noticed in the White Sox while playing for Oakland during the 2020 AL Wild Card Series

“One positive of 20 seconds, it's going to eliminate calls that you think are not dramatically important, or they're so close the time is better off keeping. Twenty seconds is 20 seconds. I wish it was 30, but 20 is fine for me.” -- La Russa on adjusting to less time to call for a challenge