Spencer Steer makes MLB debut with Reds

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CINCINNATI — From the moment he walked into Great American Ball Park on Friday, Spencer Steer wanted to take in all about his major league debut in the Reds field. The evening ended with Steer being soaked with a water cooler by his teammates.

Debuts don’t get much better than this. Steer reached base in all four at bats, hit a homerun for his first big league-hit and scored the winning run in the home of the ninth in Cincinnati’s 3-2 walk-off win over the Rockies.

“You don’t know what to expect when you go to the big leagues, it’s a lifelong dream,” said Steer. “You really don’t know what to expect until you do it. Today I made memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life.”

The rookie ended the night 2-for-2 with two walks. The last Reds player to hit the goal four times in his major league debut was Jay Bruce in 2008. Steer is only the eleventh player to ever hit the goal with a homer four times in his debut, and he is the first of Cincinnati doing that.

Steer, the number 7 in the organization, was acquired on August 2 in the trade that sent starting pitcher Tyler Mahle to the Twins. One of 10 prospects the Reds have acquired in a string of trades this summer, he is the first to reach the major leagues and offer a glimmer of hope as they embark on a rebuilding process.

In his first at bat against Colorado lefty Kyle Freeland, Steer went from a 1-2 count to a 10-pitch walk in the second inning.

“What an incredible debut. He made incredible record appearances,” said Freeland.

In the bottom of the fifth, Steer crushed a 2-1 Freeland pitch to midfield for his first big league hit and home run as fans in Great American Ball Park roared in approval.

“To be honest, I didn’t feel anything. Looking back I knew I had hit it right,” said Steer. “It’s a moment when you get a blackout. That’s what you dream about. I don’t remember much to make it really happen.”

Injured first baseman Joey Votto of Reds, who also homered for his first MLB hit, was in the television booth doing some play-by-play when Steer hit his homer.

“I hadn’t met” [Votto before Friday]Steer said. “They had a 15th anniversary in the big leagues and gave him a really cool present. I could say hello. He congratulated me on my call.”

When Steer touched home plate, he pointed to the seats where his Southern California family was jumping up and down excitedly.

“I could hear them,” Steer said. “They were extra loud tonight, which was great. You had to show them some love because you’re doing it for them. It was special. Everyone who’s supported me all my life was here tonight. I had to show them some love.”

Steer led off the ninth with a double towards the rightfield corner and moved to third base on a wild pitch. With runners on second and third base and Colorado with five infielders with one out, Jonathan India helicoptered to the center of the infield.

There was no throwing to the plate when Steer scored. It was India’s first walk-off hit.

“Great debut,” India said of Steer’s night. “That’s really hard to do. I’m happy for him. He’s a good boy and he’s going to have a good career. I’m excited for him.”

When Steer gave a TV interview on the field after the game, teammates TJ Friedl and Graham Ashcraft doused him with the contents of a water cooler.

“Even for the most polished, there’s still a lot going on on your first day,” said Reds manager David Bell. “Not just coming to the big leagues for the first time, but the first time in the organization that knows virtually no one or very few people here. It can tend to come at you really quickly.

“Then the game starts, and before you know it, it’s over. I happened to walk into the stadium with him from the parking lot and from the start everything was calm and under control. He took it all in. I think that polished approach was carried over to where it was slow enough to really see what kind of player he is.”

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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