05 Apr

vicarious thrills

On this date in 2010, on opening day in Atlanta, in his major league debut, on his first swing, Jason Heyward hit a three-run home run off the Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano. The “welcome to The Show” moment for the highly touted Heyward sent the Turner Field crowd into a frenzy and also provided a thrill for Mississippi Braves fans, who had witnessed Heyward’s prowess in 2009 at Trustmark Park. Former M-Braves stars have created quite a few of these moments in their big league debuts. Brian McCann, the first to get the call from the Double-A club in 2005, got a hit in his first big league at-bat. Later that summer, Jeff Francoeur homered in his first game, again rocking the Turner Field crowd. In 2009, Jordan Schafer went deep in his first at-bat, on his first swing. In 2012, Evan Gattis hit a bomb in his first game – while his father was being interviewed on Fox Sports South. In 2019, Austin Riley, the pride of DeSoto Central High, homered in his first big league game, this one at SunTrust Park. Who’ll be the next M-Braves alum to deliver on his big day? Keep an eye out for Drew Waters, the Southern League MVP and batting champ from 2019. His debut should come sometime this season.

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