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Graves makes MLB debut for Marlins

Reliever able to share moment with dad in stands on Father's Day
Special to MLB.com

BALTIMORE -- Talk about the ultimate Father's Day present.

Scott Graves may have had to wait through the first 26 innings of the Marlins' three-game series against Orioles. But in the eighth inning of Sunday's 10-4 loss, he could watch proudly -- with the video camera rolling from section 31 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards -- as his son, Marlins reliever Brett Graves, made a long-awaited Major League debut.

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BALTIMORE -- Talk about the ultimate Father's Day present.

Scott Graves may have had to wait through the first 26 innings of the Marlins' three-game series against Orioles. But in the eighth inning of Sunday's 10-4 loss, he could watch proudly -- with the video camera rolling from section 31 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards -- as his son, Marlins reliever Brett Graves, made a long-awaited Major League debut.

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"Surreal," Scott said afterward. "It's really a blessing."

Brett's appearance was as short as his road to the Majors has been long, beginning and ending by facing Mark Trumbo and inducing the Orioles' DH into an inning-ending groundout.

Scott was part of a crew of a half-dozen family and friends who had traveled from the St. Louis area, determined not to miss the moment after Brett was activated off the 60-day disabled list on Friday.

As Brett tells it, no one appreciated it more than Dad.

"We've shared a deeper connection just through baseball. It's just what we've grown up doing together," Brett said Saturday. "Something he loves, something I love. My whole childhood revolved around what we were doing baseball-wise. It's going to be a big day for him."

As a 2017 Rule 5 Draft pick, Brett knew he had a chance to make his debut this season. But after suffering an oblique strain in Spring Training, he was forced to wait out more than a month of recovery and then embark on a rehab assignment.

That gave Brett's family some sense of when this day would come.

"With kind of the whole rehab process, we could kind of project out what was going on," Brett said. "But I really think also through it, we didn't really know. So we could project, but we couldn't really plan."

After a relatively injury-free career, a range of injuries over the last year had kept Graves off a roster since last June. Preceding that, he pitched 381 1/3 Minor League innings after being drafted out of Missouri in the third round by Oakland in 2014.

"I coached him in Little League, I took him around all the travel ball. I was at every Mizzou weekend with his mom and sister," Scott said. "It's been a long, road."

Ian Quillen is a contributor to MLB.com based in Baltimore.

Miami Marlins, Brett Graves