If things had gone as the Red Sox had planned, Garin Cecchini likely would not have gotten into Sunday’s game after his first major league call-up. He was supposed to be at the end of his bench, just in case, and return to Triple-A Pawtucket after the game.
But that changed when Dustin Pedroia was ejected after the third inning for arguing balls and strikes.
Cecchini was quickly pressed into duty, taking over at third base with Jonathan Herrera moving over to second base.
After striking out looking in his first at-bat, Cecchini recorded his first major league hit and RBI – a double off the wall in left in the seventh, scoring Brock Holt to put the Sox up 4-0. Cecchini also held his own at third, including starting a double play in the eighth with runners on first and second when he fielded Evan Longoria’s grounder, stepped on third and threw to Holt at first.
“It’s a dream come true,” Cecchini said.
Cecchini, 23, a fourth-round pick by the Sox out of Alfred M. Barbe High School in Lake Charles, La., in 2010, was one of the first arrivals at Fenway Park Sunday morning. Manager John Farrell joked before the game that he thought Cecchini had slept over.
“Just sat here and just kind of took it all in,” he said. “Went and saw the field, ate breakfast, kept eating breakfast, and ate breakfast again, I think Whijust kind of to waste time.”
He knew his name would not be in the starting lineup, and he knew he very likely might not get into the game. But he was told to be ready just in case his name was called. And it was.
“When you come up here, when anyone comes up here, you’re expected to help the team win,” Cecchini said. “That’s the biggest thing.”
Cecchini and Alex Hassan became the first pair of Sox rookies to make their big league debuts in the same game since Sept. 5, 1993, when Greg Blosser and Jeff McNeely did so, and the first pair to make their debuts and record a hit in the same game since Sept. 28, 1975, when Steve Dillard and Andy Merchant did so.
While the rest of the Sox were leaving to begin their 10-game road trip in Cleveland on Monday, Cecchini was packing up for his return to Pawtucket, after dinner with his paretns.
“I’m living the dream,” he said. “Even if I’m in Triple A, I’m living the dream. I’m playing baseball for a living so this is great.”