When a man is born, he doesn’t know how many big league at-bats he will get; or if he will get any at all. He must make them count as they come so that like Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, he can tell his story in the show. Equally important – the same can be said of a man writing a player review of Rocky Gale.
You only get so many Rocky Gale player reviews, and this is my one shot at the title. I am going to do him justice.
Gale is a player who if you search his available stock photos for one to headline a post, none are available in Dodger gear. A man that has recorded just 17 games in the big leagues, 22 plate appearances, and amazingly all of them are official at-bats.
However, you can not measure the size of the fight in the dog by his baseball-reference page. No, a player is measured by so much more than that. This is the story of Rocky Gale, Los Angeles Dodger; and his 2018 season.
Call Up, Subsequent ‘Free Rocky Gale Movement’
Gale was signed to a minor league contract by the Dodgers on February 25, 2018. I would say that the organization would never again be the same, but that part isn’t true. What is true? On September 2nd of the same fateful year, Gale was called up to the big league club.
Moreover, before that happened; I was ready for him. Indeed, I had enough of a struggling Austin Barnes and Yasmani Grandal’s issues were wearing me thin. I wanted to see what else the organization had to offer by way of the catching position. Looking at the organizational depth chart – I knew Will Smith and Keibert Ruiz weren’t ready for a cup of coffee in the big time. However, another man fit that bill. A man who once homered off Robbie Ray while he wore a San Diego Padres uniform.
And so, #FreeRockyGale was born on twitter.
— Clint (@DiamondHoggers) September 14, 2018
I was the only person to use the hashtag to date. Two people liked the tweet. Other than that, the internet never caught fire and ran with it.
If the movement was to be an avalanche, it would be a slow build. Gale’s wikipedia page would go mostly untouched after that point. However, Rocky has twitter and he’s verified! You can follow him here where he has some 360 followers.
The movement had begun, but what would follow?
On September 23rd it happened. In the bottom of the 8th inning of a 14-0 Dodgers win at San Diego, Rocky Gale stepped to the plate. It was his first at-bat as a Los Angeles Dodger. Then, he would softly pop out on the infield off Giants’ reliever Kazuhisa Makita.
It’s important to remember that not all players in baseball can have the story of Corey Seager or Cody Bellinger. For every one of them, there is a Rocky Gale that writes his own unique script.
Gale would go on to catch a ninth inning two days later against Arizona, and strike out in a 15-0 win at San Francisco. In the two wins that he recorded an at-bat, the Dodgers outscored opponents 29 to zero. There are no coincidences in life, folks.
Gale is yet to acquire a full year’s service time at the big league level. That being said, his veteran presence should be retained for organizational depth. It is in the future that the movement can talk footing. Waiting to sprout like a powerful seed that lives in all of us. The legend of Rocky Gale lives on in the hearts of us who were alive to experience it.
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