sunny.png
Tuesday May 18th, 2021 8:03AM

Sean Kazmar makes it back to majors after 13-year absence

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CHICAGO (AP) — Sean Kazmar Jr. grounded into a double play — and sounded overjoyed.

“Definitely everything and then some,” he said. “What an amazing feeling.”

While Kazmar and the Atlanta Braves lost to the Chicago Cubs 13-4, his pinch-hit appearance in the fifth inning marked the 36-year-old infielder's first major league game since Sept. 23, 2008, with the San Diego Padres — a span of 12 years, 6 months, 25 days.

“Obviously wasn't the outcome we were looking for. A win would have been nice,” he said. “But what a good feeling — just last night when Snit told me and waking up and then getting that opportunity early in the game was awesome. But, again, yeah, man, amazing feeling, and hopefully stick around a little longer.”

Kazmar was in his hotel room Friday night watching the Braves' game on television and realized his odds of a callup were getting better when Ender Inciarte injured a hamstring in the fourth inning and Ozzie Albies Jr. was hit on the right calf by Justin Steel's pitch in the ninth.

“Watching the game and seeing everything kind of go down,” Kazmar said. “I tell guys all the time you never know in this game. And sure enough, obviously, I’m a testament to it. You never know."

He got a call after the game to contact Braves manager Brian Snitker.

“That was probably one of the greatest moments I’ve had as a manager at all the levels, quite honestly,” Snitker said. “It’s amazing. You go from ’08 to 2021, in between, you’ve got to be kidding me, to have the perseverance and the dedication and the drive.”

Kazmar was at home living on unemployment insurance last year during the COVID-19-shortened season, when the minor leagues were called.

“There could have been obvious times where I doubted that this opportunity would ever come,” he said. “Honestly, it never really left my mind, especially the last few years that I've been playing in Gwinnett I still felt like I had the ability to play at this level. Just super fortunate to get this opportunity — one to do it with an Atlanta Braves uniform on and secondly to do it at Wrigley Field is amazing.”

Kazmar appeared in 19 games in 2008 with San Diego for his only previous major league action, and had since played in Triple-A for the Padres, Seattle Mariners, New York Mets and Braves, plus Double-A for the Mets — a total of 1,106 minor league games.

The gap between big league appearances was the greatest since that of right-hander Ralph Winegarner, according to Elias Sports Bureau. Winegarner played on June 23, 1936, for the Cleveland Indians and did not return to the majors until July 7, 1949, with the St. Louis Browns, a span of 13 years, 14 days.

Kazmar took a curveball from Trevor Williams for a strike, fouled off two fastballs, then grounded a curveball to second for a 4-6-3 double play.

“Looking back at those 12 whatever years, 200 days, it kind of flew by in a sense,” he said. “You only get one shot at this career. It didn't seem as long as it felt.”

His wife, Jen, made it to Wrigley for the game.

“I knew my wife would drop everything she has. She was actually at our boy's — Sean III, his baseball game had just started. And luckily enough we had the in-laws in town,” the elder Kazmar said. “Her and my mom were able to rush and get on a red-eye last night. And obviously with all the (COVID-19) protocols and stuff, it's kind of weird not being able to see them. I got to say hi to them before the game.”

NOTES: The Braves also placed left-hander Jesse Biddle on the active roster, recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson, placed left-hander Sean Newcomb on the injured list, and put Inciarte on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hamstring on Saturday morning before their game against the Cubs.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Online - Georgia News, AP Sports - Major League Baseball, AP Sports - Minor League Baseball
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Minnesotan charged with attacks over mask demand
Prosecutors have charged a Minnesota man with felony assault and allege that he attacked a home improvement store employee and a police officer after the store worker told him to wear a mask
5:43PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Gomes ends Locastro's steal streak, homers, Nats top D'backs
Yan Gomes homered and added an RBI single to help the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 for their first back-to-back wins this season
5:35PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Republicans talk unity in Georgia but censure Kemp, others
Republicans in Georgia are calling for party unity to avoid more losses to Democrats in 2022
5:30PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ohio State quarterback derby to remain unsettled until fall
Ohio State coach Ryan Day says the quarterback competition featuring three candidates will carry over into fall camp
4:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Ovechkin scores 2, Capitals beat Flyers 6-3
Alex Ovechkin scored twice to move within one goal of Marcel Dionne for fifth place on the NHL’s career goal scorer list as the Washington Capitals downed the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3
3:47PM ( 2 hours ago )
Chelsea ends Man City's quadruple bid, reaches FA Cup final
Manchester City's quadruple dream has been extinguished by Chelsea after losing 1-0 in the semifinals of the FA Cup
3:22PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
LEADING OFF: Mets eye clear weather at last, Cubs HBP woes
Jacob deGrom and the Mets hope to finally play some baseball
4:43AM ( 13 hours ago )
Seager's homer in 12th sends Dodgers to 11-6 win over Padres
Corey Seager hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer on Tim Hill’s first pitch of the 12th inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 11-6 in a tense, entertaining first matchup this season between NL West rivals who have visions of deep playoff runs
4:18AM ( 13 hours ago )
Dodgers star Bellinger has hairline fracture in left leg
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says center fielder Cody Bellinger has a hairline fracture in his left fibula
9:32PM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Chargers, Rams, Dolphins, Falcons say no to in-person work
Players on four more NFL teams will be skipping in-person voluntary workouts because of the pandemic
11:59AM ( 5 hours ago )
As voting fight moves westward, accusations of racism follow
Democrats are escalating their charges that the Republican push for tighter state voting laws is designed to make it hard for people of color to vote
11:11AM ( 6 hours ago )
New conservative group would save 'Anglo-Saxon' traditions
Hard-right House Republicans are discussing forming an America First Caucus
10:43AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online - Georgia News
Price earns 1st regular-season save, Dodgers top Rockies 7-5
Justin Turner and Max Muncy each hit a three-run homer, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 as David Price earned his first regular-season save
2:44AM ( 1 day ago )
LEADING OFF: NL West showdown in SD, Cubs skipper suspended
San Diego rookie Ryan Weathers makes his first big league start when Mookie Betts and the champion Dodgers visit Petco Park in the first matchup this season between the NL West rivals
8:32PM ( 1 day ago )
Dodgers gather at Jackie Robinson statue to pay respects
Manager Dave Roberts and the Los Angeles Dodgers started Jackie Robinson Day with a private tribute to the Hall of Famer and civil rights advocate
8:17PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
The Latest: Minnesotan charged with attacks over mask demand
Prosecutors have charged a Minnesota man with felony assault and allege that he attacked a home improvement store employee and a police officer after the store worker told him to wear a mask
5:43PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Gomes ends Locastro's steal streak, homers, Nats top D'backs
Yan Gomes homered and added an RBI single to help the Washington Nationals beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 for their first back-to-back wins this season
5:35PM ( 14 minutes ago )
Republicans talk unity in Georgia but censure Kemp, others
Republicans in Georgia are calling for party unity to avoid more losses to Democrats in 2022
5:30PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Messi nets 2, Barcelona beats Bilbao 4-0 to win Copa del Rey
Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 to win the Copa del Rey final
5:29PM ( 21 minutes ago )
QB front-runner Young mostly shines in Alabama's spring game
Bryce Young showed why he's regarded as the front-runner to be Alabama's next starting quarterback
5:28PM ( 21 minutes ago )