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At 33 years old, ASU’s Drew Maggi makes emotional MLB debut

After growing up in Phoenix and playing baseball at ASU, 13 years later, Drew Maggi made his MLB debut. © Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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After getting called up to the big leagues Sunday, former ASU All-Pac-10 baseball player Drew Maggi, now 33 years old, had his first plate appearance late in the game for the Pittsburgh Pirates in their 8-1 win over the Dodgers Wednesday.

ASU baseball alum and Phoenix native gets first call up to MLB after 13 years

Maggi walked off the field under a banner with a fitting quote from Roberto Clemente, “When I put on my uniform, I feel I am the proudest man on earth.”

After over 1,100 games in the minors, Maggi struggled to put the moment into words in his postgame interview that was broadcasted to the crowd.

“I didn’t even know what to do (in the batter’s box), you guys were cheering me on,” Maggi said to the crowd.

“I never expected that and through the journey I just thought I’d make my debut and it would be a normal at-bat, obviously special, but the crowd cheering my name, I got my parents here, my three brothers, sister back at home. I mean this is unbelievable, thank you everybody.”

With everyone cheering as loud as they could, even his teammates, Maggi said he tried to focus on having a good at-bat.

“They told me to get ready in the dugout, and then my heart started pumping,” Maggi said. “And I was like, ‘This is it. This is the moment, take a deep breath, really try to slow everything down.’ And then once I got up to the plate it was just, ‘Let’s go.’ I was like, ‘Here comes the heater. Get on the fastball.’ Some of that I’ve been waiting for so long for. I’m just happy with everything.”

Maggi spoke very highly of his parents, who were at the game.

“They’re everything to me,” Maggi said. “Since day one, they’ve supported me when I first got into pro ball. I mean, I was standing right here with my mom when I first got drafted and I signed here.“

“Throughout my 13 years in the minor leagues, my mom is my psychological best friend. We’ve had late nights crying, a lot of emotional nights, tough times, a lot of good times too. I mean my dad (was) my coach growing up all the way through, taught me so much about life, baseball, how to handle adversity. I mean, I wouldn’t be here without them.”

Maggi tried to keep level-headed when he saw the first pitch, which he hit foul down the left field line.

“Everything was moving fast, I was just trying to center on the pitcher,” Maggi said. “I was like, ‘I’m gonna be on time for a heater and let if fly. This is my moment, I had the crowd behind me the whole time.’”

“I was just like, ‘You and me let’s go, I’m letting it eat, I’m swinging.’”

Maggi next talked about his biggest takeaway from the emotional moment. 

“Anything is possible,” he said. “Never give up no matter what you’re doing. If you love something, go for it. This is special to me. I’ll never forget this whole experience. I didn’t expect it, but don’t give up.”

ASU baseball alum and Phoenix native gets first call up to MLB after 13 years

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on twitter via @Brendan_Mau

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