Jonah Heim made his major league debut on Tuesday night during the A’s 10-3 win over the Texas Rangers, and he left with a game ball from his first single, his first win and tons of congratulatory texts and phone calls.
“I’m just overwhelmed with emotions right now -- just super happy to be here,” Heim said after the game. “It’s something you dream of as a kid. I had a blast out there.”
The first hit was a line-drive single to left field. Immediately after, the ball was thrown to the dugout for safekeeping.
“I mean, it’s everything you dream of really, just seeing the ball hit the ground, I mean I kind of blacked out during the swing so I don’t remember swinging,” Heim said. “Having seen it hit the ground it was like everything you work for coming to life so it was awesome.”
And yes, the calls, texts and everything else attached to his phone was almost too much to handle.
“I tried to look at it, but there’s just so much going on,” Heim added. “I’m just overwhelmed with the support from everybody.”
Heim’s dad James had been active on social media since he found out his son would be a major league catcher and he was watching from home, supporting Jonah’s debut and everything that was attached to it.
“Yeah I mean, I wouldn’t be here without my family so all the support is huge,” Heim said. “Even the lows, he’s always been there to uplift me and push me to be better and without him, I wouldn’t be where I’m at -- I love him to death so I’m just super blessed for him.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin was the one who broke the news to Heim, and as a former MLB catcher himself, he knew it was going to be a special moment for Heim and was impressed with what he saw.
“I thought he was great. I mean you can have obviously a lot of nerves, but it did not look like it,” Melvin said. “You know, dealing with me, there’s a lot of interaction with me during the game whether it’s signs, whether it’s in-between innings, he’s absolutely fantastic.”
Melvin said Heim went with the game plan beautifully despite how difficult that could be.
“There’s nothing like, as a catcher, first he gets a hit, gets a walk, but catching a ‘W’ in your first game is a great feeling and I know he’ll never forget that.”