Hall lives a dream with Major League debut
DENVER -- In the middle of the Giants' 11-3 loss to the Rockies on Thursday, Cody Hall had a career highlight, coming out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh inning. It was his Major League debut, and though he left the game with a 10.80 ERA, it was a dream come true.
"It didn't go the way I wanted it to, but at the same time, I executed some pitches," Hall said. "It's nice to get that first one out of the way."
Hall retired the first two hitters he faced, then gave up two hits before escaping unscathed. He retired the first two again in the eighth before giving up Carlos Gonzalez's fourth hit of the night. Nolan Arenado followed with his 34th homer of the season, and DJ LeMahieu added a single before Hall was pulled by manager Bruce Bochy.
"My mom, dad, my brother and my girlfriend all flew in," Hall said. "They were actually sitting right behind the dugout, cheering really loud when I came off, even after the second inning, after the home run, they're still cheering, so proud. That was the best part, having them here. It's been a dream of mine since I was a kid, and I wanted them to be here for it."
Hall's journey didn't even start until his sophomore year at Baton Rouge Community College. He'd hung up his spikes after riding the bench as a freshman and sophomore in high school in Savannah, Ga., and went to BRCC to improve his grades so he could get into pharmacy school, but the baseball bug bit him again, and he made the team as a sophomore.
"I went there as a hitter," he said. "I took BP, made the team, hit really well in the fall. Then the season started, and I didn't hit that well. But the coach saw that I had a pretty good arm, and he said, 'Let's get you on the mound.' So I started pitching, and didn't know anything. I just threw a fastball, that was it."
Hall studied a book on pitching, and after a scrimmage against nearby Southern University, he was offered a scholarship by the baseball coach. He learned a slider -- which he threw for a strike with his first big league pitch -- then a splitter and a changeup.
"I just kept working and kept working," he said. "I'm still working. And I'm going to continue to work."
Hall credits BRCC coach L.J. Dupuy and Southern coach Roger Cador with making him a big leaguer.
"When I first started, it was rough, and they stuck with me," he said. "I don't like to fail. No one likes to fail. It took some time getting used to the failure part of the game, because it's going to happen. They stuck with me every day and they kept telling me, 'You have the talent to play.'"
He showed that talent on Thursday, and the fans -- at least the four behind the dugout -- couldn't have been prouder.