Red Sox: Michael Chavis commemorates 1-year anniversary of call-up

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox hits his first career home-run in the eighth inning during the second game of a double header against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 23: Michael Chavis #23 of the Boston Red Sox hits his first career home-run in the eighth inning during the second game of a double header against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on April 23, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox infielder Michael Chavis tweeted a story about his arrival to the big leagues on the anniversary of the day he was called up.

Getting called up to the majors for the first time is a memory that baseball players never forget. For Michael Chavis, that moment came one year ago yesterday and he commemorated the occasion by sharing a story about arriving to the Boston Red Sox clubhouse for the first time.

The most exciting day of his career was also a stressful one. The Red Sox were in Tampa Bay for a series with the Rays when Chavis got the call informing him that he was joining the major league roster. In a tweet that he shared on the anniversary of his call-up, Chavis explained why he was late to his first major league game.

First, his flight was delayed, setting his arrival back for reasons outside of his control. If that wasn’t bad enough, his Uber driver dropped him off a mile away from the stadium. Tropicana Field is notorious for being a hassle to get to, which explains why their ballpark is often half empty even when the Rays are winning, but c’mon, Uber! The guy is running late for the biggest day of his life. You can’t get him a little closer to his destination? That driver certainly didn’t deserve five stars, although Chavis seems like too nice of a guy to rate him too poorly.

https://twitter.com/MichaelChavis11/status/1251922198979371008

Chavis was forced to walk a mile to the park while lugging around two heavy bags loaded with baseball gear in the sweltering Tampa heat. Drenched with sweat, Chavis completed the exhausting trip with a smile on his face. His journey to get to the big leagues was far longer than traveling from the spot where his driver dropped him off. All the delays and setbacks along the way no longer mattered. Chavis had arrived.

The game was well underway by the time Chavis reached the Red Sox clubhouse. He was greeted with a quick “congratulations” followed by orders to get dressed. Chavis was told that he might be needed to pinch-hit, depending on the outcome of Christian Vazquez‘s at-bat. Oh, by the way, Vazquez was already at the plate at this point. No pressure, kid. Time to get ready.

Vazquez ended up hitting a two-run homer to give the Red Sox the lead in the fifth inning. The Rays would rally to tie the game in the following inning but solo shots from Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland put the game away in the eighth. It turned out that Chavis wasn’t needed to pinch-hit but his team got the win in his first game on the roster.

His big league debut would have to wait for the next day. He didn’t get the start but Chavis was brought in to pinch-hit for Sandy Leon in the top of the ninth inning. The rookie ripped a line drive to deep center field that sneaked over the head of Kevin Kiermaier for a double.

His clutch hit moved Jackie Bradley Jr. from first to third, putting him in position to score on a sac fly from Andrew Benintendi that proved to be the game-winning run. The Red Sox would go on to win 6-5 with Chavis serving as the hero in his first major league game.

Chavis became a staple in the Red Sox lineup after that, at least until a shoulder sprain ended his season in mid-August. He completed his rookie campaign hitting .254 with 18 home runs and 58 RBI in 95 games.

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What will Chavis accomplish for an encore in his sophomore season? We’ll have to wait to find out since the MLB season remains in limbo. The season will start later than expected for Chavis but he was late to his first major league game and that turned out fine.