ATLANTA -- Isaac Galloway waited 11 years for the call, so it's understandable the 28-year-old teared up at the airport while waiting on his flight from New Orleans to Atlanta to make his Major League debut with the Marlins on Tuesday.Considering all that he had to endure just to step
ATLANTA -- Isaac Galloway waited 11 years for the call, so it's understandable the 28-year-old teared up at the airport while waiting on his flight from New Orleans to Atlanta to make his Major League debut with the Marlins on Tuesday.
Considering all that he had to endure just to step into the batter's box at SunTrust Park, Galloway wasn't going to be denied of his first hit, even after Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson made a nice diving stop on a sharply struck grounder in the ninth inning. He would later score on Brian Anderson's double.
"Just turned it to another gear, and I just tried to get there," Galloway said. "I saw him dive. I was like, 'I've got to move to get the first one out of the way.'"
On a night the Marlins were soundly beaten, 11-6, by the Braves, Galloway made his presence felt right away, taking over for Derek Dietrich in left field in the seventh inning. And his hustle and perseverance didn't go unnoticed.
"It's nice to give him an opportunity," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Guys who work so hard, they represent to me what's great about the game. A lot of these guys are top prospects here or there. This is a kid that just battled his way through. Obviously, he loves playing, because you don't do that for 11 years if you don't love playing this game."
The Florida Marlins selected Galloway in the eighth round of the 2008 Draft. He has appeared at all of the levels, logging 947 Minor League games before getting his first big league break when his contract was selected from Triple-A New Orleans on Tuesday.
Galloway's opportunity came because earlier in the day the Marlins dealt veteran outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Mariners.
Since Galloway is a right-handed hitter who can play center field, he got the call. Even after learning he was headed to Atlanta, Galloway's first big league experience took a while. Due to inclement weather, his flight was delayed. He actually arrived at the ballpark in the middle innings.
Initially, it was unclear if he would be dressed for the game, but rain delayed the start by one hour and 27 minutes.
"At the airport, we had a layover because of the weather," Galloway said. "I kind of started crying. It's just been crazy. I didn't ever think I would ever have the opportunity to be in the big leagues, just because I'd been through so much in the Minors and everything. I'm definitely happy."
The only player in franchise history to have endured more Minor League games before making his Marlins debut was Brian Daubach (965) on Sept. 10, 1998.
Galloway had chances to walk away from the game, but he kept believing his number would be called. It was on Tuesday, and for now, he's wearing No. 79. He was No. 2 at New Orleans.
"Yeah, I've thought about it," Galloway said of retiring. "I've loved baseball since I was little. This was always my dream. I've never been a quitting type. I was going to stick it out as long as I can. I believe hard work eventually has to pay off."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.