Newest Red reps West Point on West Coast

May 22nd, 2024

This story was excerpted from Mark Sheldon’s Reds Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CINCINNATI -- A West Point graduate notching his first Major League hit on Armed Forces Day? And getting it at one of baseball's most iconic venues, Dodger Stadium?

“You can’t write the script any better than that," said rookie Reds outfielder . “Super special, and I’m glad I could represent the Army that way.”

On Saturday at Los Angeles during a 4-0 loss, Hurtubise lined a two-out single to right-center field in the top of the third inning against Walker Buehler for his first hit in the big leagues after being called up from Triple-A Louisville on May 13, while the Reds were at Arizona.

Hurtubise, 26, had been hitless over his first four at-bats over four games. Getting that first hit was indeed a weight lifted.

“You’re always looking for that first one, and now it’s just about playing baseball,” he said.

Hurtubise is the second graduate of West Point to play Major League Baseball. Because of a government policy that was enacted only six months before his graduation in 2020, he was allowed to defer his military service obligation until after the end of his playing career. He was the first pro baseball player granted such a deferment.

Since his callup, Hurtubise said he's received messages of encouragement from members of the Armed Forces.

“They love seeing the way I am able to serve and represent West Point, the military and everything that it stands for," he said.

Two of Hurtubise's academy classmates were at Dodger Stadium, along with his wife, when he got the hit. Plenty of well-wishes came after that, too.

“I got a lot of messages, a lot of Instagram DMs congratulating me on such an amazing accomplishment," Hurtubise said. "A lot of people have seen the hard work I put in and recognized that.”

It didn't take long for Hurtubise to get his second hit. It came on Sunday at L.A., when he notched a ninth-inning single after entering the game as a pinch-runner two innings earlier.

On Tuesday vs. the Padres, Hurtubise got his first start as the leadoff hitter for Cincinnati and went 0-for-3 with a walk.