Apr 2023

Drew Maggi Makes MLB Debut After 13 Years in Minors

Dreams do come true. Just ask Italian American and former Team Italy player Drew Maggi, who made his big league debut with the Pirates on April 26 after spending 13 years in the minor leagues.

At 33 years old, he never held out hope that he would reach this level, and he experienced it with his family in attendance. Fans showered him with admiration when he got to the plate, forcing him to receive his first pitch clock violation.

“I didn’t even know what to do when [the fans] started chanting my name,” Maggi said after the game to media. “I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to take off my helmet. … I was trying to focus on the at-bat but also trying to really enjoy the moment, too. There was a lot going on in my mind. It was the coolest thing I could ever imagine. It was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Pirates manager Derek Shelton was excited for his player.

“Anybody else get emotional? Because it was emotional in our dugout, man,” said manager Derek Shelton with tears in his eyes. “That was cool. That was really cool. As long as I’ve known him, to be able to be the person that was telling him, yeah, it was really cool.”

He even dropped some Italian rhetoric when asked about when Maggi would actually get a chance to play.

“Hell, my wife texted me and was like, ‘When’s the Italian kid going to play?’” Shelton said.

He struck out in his lone at-bat, but not before blasting a 270-foot shot into foul territory on the first pitch he saw.

Here’s hoping he gets a few more opportunities to shine.

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