Rookie outfielder/first baseman Brock Stassi had an emotional reaction after being named to the Philadelphia Phillies’ opening day roster.
Video shows Stassi tearing up and calling making the team “a dream come true” after six years in the minors.
The 27-year-old was a long shot to make it to the big leagues after being the 1,021st player picked in the 2011 draft.
Stassi’s younger brother, Max, is a catcher in the Houston Astros organization who saw time with the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies in 2015 and 2016. Max Stassi tweeted Thursday that his brother “truly earned everything to get to this point in his career” and has spent time in the offseason working as a substitute teacher.
“Everyone has heard some kind of cliche underdog story,” Max Stassi wrote, “well this isn’t one of those.”
Others chimed in with their congratulations, including Grizzlies radio play-by-play man Doug Greenwald.
Brock Stassi hit .333 with six home runs in 57 at-bats for the Phillies this spring, then survived a three-way duel for the final two spots on the team’s bench heading into the opener. Philadelphia plays at Cincinnati on Monday.
In his six minor league seasons, Stassi has hit .263 with 42 home runs in 1,937 at-bats. But he enjoyed one of his best seasons with Triple-A Lehigh Valley a year ago, with a .267/.369/.437 triple-slash line.
Stassi prepped at Yuba City High and played his college ball at Nevada. Earlier this year, dad Jim discussed the hard road his son had traveled as a baseball player, even back to his high school days.
“He had his back against the wall for a long, long time,” Jim Stassi was quoted at philly.com. “It’s not something that’s new to him. He’s been fighting through it forever. That’s why it doesn’t really surprise me that he’s in the situation he is right now, hopefully making the 25-man roster out of spring training. Because he’s been battling his entire career.”