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Grube's persistence pays off with first callup

OAKLAND -- After stints with three different organizations, a brief stop in independent ball and 11 seasons in professional baseball, 32-year-old right-hander Jarrett Grube has finally reached the big leagues, called up by the Angels on Saturday when lefty Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment.

"Unbelievable," Grube said. "I'm still in shock. I have been choking up quite a bit. A lot of people have been texting me and calling me and saying congrats. It brings it all back from the beginning. It's a pretty awesome feeling."

Grube, called up to temporarily provide length out of the bullpen, was drafted by the Rockies in the 10th round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, made a combined 24 appearances (20 starts) in independent ball from 2009-10, pitched in the Mariners' organization for a couple of years and was signed by the Angels as a Minor League free agent in July 2012.

The Indiana product had a 3.52 ERA in 11 starts for Triple-A Salt Lake this year, posting a 1.14 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) and a 2.83 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 61 1 /3 innings. For his professional career, he has a 4.14 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 2.82 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he has "a nice running fastball-slider combination."

Grube's wife and her mother traveled from Fort Wayne, Ind., to make it in time for Saturday's game, and his parents are slated to be here Sunday. Grube was charting pitches for Friday's extra-inning game in Tacoma, Wash., when Salt Lake Bees pitching coach Erik Bennett waved him over with a stern look on his face, ultimately telling him he was going to the Majors.

"I thought I messed the chart up," said Grube, who made his Major League debut in the eighth inning of Saturday's 11-3 loss and surrendered a three-run homer to Yoenis Cespedes. "They kind of twisted it. It was pretty cool."

It would've been easy for Grube to give up along the way, but somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew he'd ultimately regret it, because he's fought for so long.

"You try to keep that glimmer of hope alive," Grube said. "It's the reason you play, to get to the Majors. I can't say I had given up, but there are definitely small thoughts like that. You try to ignore them."

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez.
Read More: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Jarrett Grube