After Thursday night’s game, White Sox rookie Lenyn Sosa was greeted with texts from his family expressing how proud they were of him. In the sixth inning, they watched Sosa take the field to make his MLB debut. But as with any MLB debut, it was more than just playing a game of baseball.
“I was able to make my dream come true,” Sosa said through an interpreter.
Initially it seemed like Sosa would have to wait a day to turn his dream into a reality, since Tony La Russa had Sosa sitting out for his first day in the big leagues. But Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch in the right elbow in the fifth inning, and wasn’t able to come out on defense to start the sixth. So Sosa got the nod to replace him.
“Very happy,” Sosa said about his emotions when he heard he was entering the game. “Excited. But as soon as I stepped on the field, things kinda went away.”
Sosa had a rude welcome in his first real action of the day. In his first major league at-bat, Sosa faced Félix Bautista who fired three-straight fastballs between 98 and 100 mph. Sosa managed to foul one of them off, but on the fourth pitch Bautista mixed in an 87 mph splitter, and Sosa went down swinging.
He fared much better in his second at-bat, however, and managed to draw a walk. That walk is what Sosa was most proud about when the day was done. Afterwards, he kept four game balls to commemorate the moment.
“I’ve been working a lot about that, you know, my walks and being patient at home plate,” Sosa said. “Getting a walk today was something that made me very, very proud. Even though it wasn’t a hit, I reached base. It was good.”
It caught his manager’s eye, as well.
“I thought his second at bat was one of the highlights of the night,” said La Russa. “That’s where we were competing at that point. He drew a walk, fouled off a couple of tough pitches. I thought that was very impressive.”
It won’t be the walk, or the strikeout, or recording his first assist that Sosa will remember most about his debut, though. It will be exiting the dugout to take the field for the first time.
“Just entering the game. Step on the field and see the crowd, the stadium, the fans. I’ve never played in a stadium like this. It was pretty amazing.”