Updated: Aug 7, 2019
In the summer of 2014, while coaching summer collegiate baseball with the Menlo Park Legends, we had a young man on our team named Zac Grotz.
Last night, Zac Grotz took the mound for the Seattle Mariners in the 7th inning and pitched 2 innings in relief as he made his Major League Debut against the Houston Astros, without allowing a homerun...if you watched the game last night, you'll understand why that is an accomplishment!
I was following the box score on my phone, hoping that Zac would get the call from the bullpen, and when his name popped up, I quickly pulled up the live feed to watch the game on my phone...Ace, who was in rare form last night, was "watching" a dinosaur movie on TV. Now way I would've been allowed to change that...Also, thank you T-Mobile for the complimentary access to MLB.TV for the season.
Lord knows my impact on his career was negligible. All I did was write his name on the lineup card when it was his turn to pitch and shake his hand after he made our opponents look silly. Not to mention, I am a different man today than I was 5 years ago.
I've always been in it for relationships, but I didn't always know what that really meant or how to build them.
Watching Zac compete at the highest level filled me with an immense sense of pride. Pride for him. Proud because he made it to the big leagues, but more proud because of what he went through to get there. His perseverance has been unmatched.
Zac's road to the Show hasn't been a traditional one, and I won't get into the details here. I will say that it's been a windy road with infinity detours. I have followed his career since his time with the Legends, but I haven't stayed in touch over the years.
I did send him a text message last night. And I'm sure he got hundreds. I'm very honored that he took the time to respond to mine.
I'll say it again here.
Congrats big guy! I'm proud of you. Keep up the good work.