If for nothing else than the result itself, Sunday’s 11-3 loss to the San Diego Padres was a forgettable game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. One Dodger, however, will look back upon this day with pride for the rest of his life.
Austin Barnes, who was called up from Triple-A after catcher Yasmani Grandal was placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list after he was hit in the head twice in Friday’s game, made his Major-League debut Sunday afternoon in front of nearly fifty friends and family members, who were among the 50,000 fans who packed Dodger Stadium for the series finale against the Padres.
“It was great,” said Barnes, who was born in Orange and grew up in Riverside. “I grew up playing the game and you always want to get your first big league hit. I didn’t really envision the game going like that, but it is what it is.”
Considering where Barnes was born and raised, the assumption can be made that he grew up going to MMLB games 25 miles south of Dodger Stadium. When asked whether he grew up going to Angels games, however, he quickly replied, “No. Dodgers. That’s what makes it [his debut] better.”
Barnes, who went 1-for-3 and struck out once, isn’t the only big leaguer in his family tree. His uncle, Mike Gallego, played second base for the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals between 1985-1997, and is currently the third base coach for the Athletics.
Barnes was acquired from the Miami Marlins in the seven-player trade that sent Dan Haren and Dee Gordon to South Beach. Along with Kiké Hernandez, who also came to Los Angeles in the trade, many in the Dodgers organization think highly of Barnes.
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