Looking for a feel-good story of Major League Baseball’s Friday night action? Of course you are. Who doesn’t like to feel good? Wynton Bernard has you covered here.
Bernard debuted with the Rockies in their 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks, and let’s go back to the game for a moment.
Wynton Bernard was drafted by the Padres in the 35th round in 2012. Although he was drafted by Niagara (New York) University, he was born and raised in San Diego, so it was a nice story to be selected by his hometown team. Unsurprisingly, most of the 35th round picks don’t make the majors. Many don’t even come close.
Bernard did not give up, however. He spent 10 years in the minors and played in 863 minor league games. He also played in the Atlantic League (independent), Venezuelan Winter League, Australian Baseball League, Mexican Pacific Winter League, Dominican Winter League and the Constellation Winter League (independent).
He played parts of four seasons and 241 games at the Double-A level and 417 games in parts of six seasons at Triple-A.
On Friday, he was able to let his mom know that he was finally going to The Show:
Bernard calls there his mother who takes care of his father. Details on that, from the Denver Post:
Bernard’s voice broke as he spoke of his mother’s unwavering dedication to caring for his father, Walter, who passed away in 2010. Bernard told himself he would work as hard as she did to pursue his lifelong dream.
Hold back those tears. We’re not ready. Here he first walks into Coors Field, along with audio from his Triple-A manager:
Bernard grounded out in his first career at bat, then struckout the next time. Then it got really fun. He easily beat an infield-grounder — he was initially called out, but replay canceled the call for his first career hit — stole the second and scored a run on a sacrifice fly.
His reaction to the tilt and the family photos are such good things. The full broadcast gave many more fun moments, including how happy the dugout was to congratulate Bernard in the dugout after he scored. And he laughed all the time. Good for him.
Speaking of family, Wynton becomes the third member of his immediate family with top-level ties to a major professional sport, along with two of his brothers. Walter Bernard had a brief NFL career in the early 2000s and Wayne Bernard signed contracts with both the Raptors and Kings in the NBA. Wynton honored them both on his cleats Friday:
Quite a feel-good moment, to say the least.