When the San Francisco Giants announced their opening day roster Sunday, infielder Matt Duffy no doubt breathed a sigh of relief.
The 24-year-old from Long Beach was competing for a limited number of spots on the team's bench, and while he had a great spring training, hitting .361, he was by no means guaranteed a place on the roster.
Duffy played his first game with the Giants last August, after getting called up from the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the team's AA affiliate. When I asked him about that phone call from the team's assistant general manager, Bobby Evans (since promoted to GM), the memories came flooding back.
"I'd always thought about that moment, like what would happen," Duffy recalled in the dugout last week before a preseason game against the Oakland A's.
Duffy says he "hung up" on Evans and immediately called his parents in Southern California, to give them the news that their son was going to the Big Leagues.
"I just started crying. I never thought I would cry," says Duffy. "I've never been a big crier. But I just couldn't stop crying. My dad's crying. (My mother) thinks we're both laughing. It was just a mess."
And what were those tears about?
"It's like every emotion I ever felt in the game of baseball," Duffy says. "All the disappointment, all the success, all the hard work. It's the culmination of all those things that you've put into this game."