MINNEAPOLIS -- It took James Beresford 1,070 games and 10 seasons in the Minor Leagues to finally get his long-awaited call to the Majors.
It only took him one start with the Twins to get his first big league hit.
As soon as he touched first base following his seventh-inning single to center in the Twins' 2-1, 12-inning victory over Cleveland on Saturday, Beresford looked up into the stands to find his parents, who had flown 25 hours from Australia to be with their son for that moment.
His gaze didn't make it to his parents. He was too caught off-guard by the show of support from the dugout.
"It looked like there were 40 people standing up on the rail clapping," Beresford said. "I didn't really expect that from all the team. I was overwhelmed with how much they were enthused and into the moment."
Brian Dozier, who had been roommates with Beresford in the Minor Leagues for several years, got emotional as he watched his teammate complete a decade-long journey and receive a lengthy standing ovation from the Target Field crowd.
Two batters later, Dozier was intentionally walked with Beresford at second, and he was able to head over during the ensuing pitching change to share a personal moment with his longtime friend.
"He got to come over to second base, gave me a hug," Beresford said. "He almost said he was getting a little emotional. So when he said that, I was getting a little emotional. It's like 'The Notebook' all over again."
Of course, that all just feels like a blur to Beresford now.
He'd had a chance to soak in the atmosphere earlier, though, when he stepped into a Major League batter's box for the first time in the second inning. He was ready to just get the at-bat underway, but Cleveland catcher Roberto Pérez had other ideas.
"My heart was racing a little fast and I was ready to start the at-bat, but the catcher wouldn't sit down in his stance so I had to listen to it for a while," Beresford said. "The fans were awesome and it was a pretty fun night."
Making the start at third base, Beresford was tested immediately in the first inning when Carlos Santana hit a sharp grounder down the line with one out and runners on first and second. If the ball were to get by Beresford, at least one run would have scored, but he made a diving stop and a strong throw across the diamond that was late but still prevented the Indians from extending their 1-0 lead -- which, given the final score, proved crucial.
Later in the game, following a Kurt Suzuki leadoff walk in the ninth inning, Beresford laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt -- an area that the Twins have struggled with -- to move the winning run to second with one out.
So Beresford's debut wasn't just a feel-good story; he made several meaningful contributions to help the Twins' chances to win.
"Heck, he saved two runs in the first inning, sacrifice bunt, first big league hit, awesome," Dozier said. "Couldn't have scripted it any better."
"It's been quite a ride," Beresford said. "Tonight makes the last 10 years all worth it."