Rowdy Tellez has been with the big club just over 24 hours and has already made history that etches his name in the record books forever.
Blue Jays fans were incredibly impressed when first baseman Rowdy Tellez drove the first pitch he saw in the bigs into the outfield for an RBI double. So, the next logical question is – what’s better than an RBI double? Two RBI doubles? How about three doubles in Tellez’s first three MLB plate appearances? Yes.
According to the Blue Jays on Twitter (who in turn confirmed the fact from STATS), Rowdy Tellez is “the first player in the live-ball era to have an extra-base hit in each of his first three career plate appearances”. The live-ball era, which began in 1920, has seen over 15,000 players debut.
Tellez now joins Trevor Story (2 HRs, 4 RBI), Starlin Castro (HR, 3B, 6 RBI), Joey Gallo (HR, 2B, 4 RBI) and Mark Quinn (2 HR, 2B, 4 RBI) among hitters who have also had spectacular debuts over the past 20 MLB seasons.
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Tellez, 23, grew up in Elk Grove, California and was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 30th round of the 2013 draft. As of his promotion, he was the organization’s 29th ranked prospect, slashing a solid .270/.340/.425 in 112 games at Triple-A Buffalo, mashing 13 home runs and 22 doubles while stealing seven bases in 393 at-bats.
Of course, it would impossible to write a story about Tellez without mentioning the unfortunate passing of his mother last month. In an emotional and beautiful gesture, Tellez inscribed “Mom” in the dirt in front of home plate after the conclusion of Wednesday’s game. Teary-eyed and sentimental, he told Sportsnet’s Hazel Mae that “it was all for Mom”.
Tellez’s father, Greg, arrived in Toronto late on the eve of his debut and missed the game, though he was in attendance Thursday, and witnessed his son make history. Tellez waited at Pearson International Airport in Toronto until “nearly midnight” to embrace his proud and ecstatic father upon his arrival.
As John Chidley-Hill gracefully wrote in the Guardian, Tellez said the following about his father:
"“He did everything for me. He’s always been there for me and did everything baseball related with me forever. First coach, first everything. All the hours we spent working at it, all the time he spent after work when he was tired.”"
For his minor league career, the first baseman has hit 64 home runs and has driven in 327, while slashing a cumulative .271/.346/.434 with 120 doubles and 254 runs scored.
Tellez’s story shows that while the baseball powers can often be cruel, they can also often be rewarding to the kindest and most passionate spirits in the enormous ecosystem of this wonderful sport.