Calgary-raised Mike Soroka stuns baseball world with amazing MLB debut
On Tuesday night, Mike Soroka became one of the youngest pitchers in Major League Baseball history to get a win in his first-ever start.
The young phenom is from Calgary. His dad, sister and 20 or so friends made the trip from Calgary to New York to watch Soroka and the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets.
Among the Soroka cheering section was Jim Lawson who watched the rising star develop over the past eight years in his Calgary Redbirds Baseball Club.
“It was fantastic,” Redbirds owner Lawson said.
“Every time he struck someone out I just stood up and said: ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening.'”
Lawson and his wife Trudy were at the game cheering on every pitch.
“I would describe it as electric,” Trudy said. “The crowd around us got to see the Canadian flags we were waving and got to realize we had a connection with this young new pitcher that was on the mound, the crowd around us actually got pretty excited.”
Soroka tweeted Wednesday afternoon about how incredible the last few days have been and how living his dream in front of friends and family is something he’ll cherish forever.
Fellow Calgarian and former major pitcher Chris Rietsma was part of Soroka’s cheering section in the stands.
“That’s awesome,” Soroka said. “He’s been my pitching coach since I was 12 or 13 and I don’t think when we started we envisioned something like this and things just took off.”
Lawson thinks big things are ahead for Soroka and that it will have an affect on the baseball community in Calgary.
“I think he’s going to promote the game huge,” Lawson said. “I would expect our numbers to rise, especially because he’s such a personable kid.”
Calgary Redbirds pitcher Nic Taylor, 18, knows Soroka and is inspired to see him reach the big time.
He was at Redbirds practice with his teammates in Calgary during Soroka’s debut.
“It was special, I can tell you that,” Taylor said. “No one really wanted to practice, that was the thing. We all wanted to get updates, know what was happening with the game and it was just an exciting time for Calgary baseball and Canadian baseball.”
Atlanta will host San Francisco this weekend.
Watch: Calgary’s highest drafted Major League Baseball player Mike Soroka is garnering plenty of attention south of the border after his first full season of professional baseball. The 19-year old is gearing up for his second spring training with the Atlanta Braves later this month.
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