Jonah Heim will make his major league debut on Tuesday when the A’s face the Texas Rangers in Arlington. It has been a long time coming for the catcher who has shown so much power at the plate.
“I was speechless at the time,” Jonah said on Tuesday on how he reacted to the news.
“I called my dad right away -- trying to hold back some tears, it’s been a long time coming,” Heim said. “Rightfully so, I don’t think he stopped screaming, so hopefully he’s in a better place today so we’ll see how he is.”
Heim’s dad appeared to be a very proud Papa sharing anything and everything Jonah-related on Twitter.
And while he won’t be able to attend his son’s debut, there is already a backup plan in place.
“It’s obviously disappointing but we understand with everything going on in the world right now with COVID so they’re definitely going to be watching, they’re going to be cheering -- with as many people at the house as they can, so it’s definitely going to be exciting,” Heim said.
The 25-year-old Buffalo, N.Y. native, who was on the team’s taxi squad up until this moment, mirrored his game after two former Yankees.
“I kind of grew up a Yankees’ fan, unfortunately -- just watching Jorge Posada a lot and Russell Martin -- he was there and it’s just a lot of hard work put in,” Heim said. “I got to give credit to my high school coach, my travel ball coach that really developed me along the way. As soon as I got into pro ball, I probably had one of the best catching coordinators (Don Warner) I could have for the time. It’s really just a combination of working hard and having good coaches.”
The switch-hitter took advantage of his time playing in the PCL with the A’s Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators, and despite the uptick in offense league-wide in the PCL, he aims to maintain that in the big leagues.
During his time playing in the Dominican Winter League, he slashed .301/.386/.411 with 22 hits.
Heim will be behind the plate catching for starter Sean Manaea on Tuesday.