Calgary baseball fans may be paying a little more attention to the 2019 All-Star Game this year after one of their own was selected to play on the team this past weekend.
“Words can’t describe the feeling,” pitcher Mike Soroka said in an Instagram post on July 1.
He went on to say he’s been “incredibly humbled and in awe” of the outpouring of support he has received from friends, family and fans since being chosen for the All-Star team.
Soroka, a born and raised Calgarian, was selected to the team on June 30.
It has been a whirlwind first two seasons of professional baseball for the 21-year-old player.
In 2015, he became the highest-ever drafted Calgarian when the Atlanta Braves selected him 28th overall.
After putting up impressive numbers as part of the Braves’ minor teams, he made his debut on May 1, 2018, against the New York Mets. He pitched six innings, recorded five strikeouts and gave up only one run in a 3-2 win.
Following his impressive start, Soroka suffered a series of injuries that affected his shoulder and was only able to make four more starts for the Braves before missing the rest of the 2018 season.
His perseverance through those struggles has seen him start 14 games this year. That means that even though this is his second season, he is still officially a rookie and may be considered for Rookie of the Year award.
WATCH (May 2018): Calgarians react to hometown Soroka’s MLB debut.
Part of what led to Soroka being voted into the All-Star Game, and to the Braves topping the National League, is his phenomenal 2.13 earned run average, the second best in the majors.
In representing the Braves, Soroka will be joined by another young player, 21-year-old Ronald Acuña Jr. as well as more experienced player Freddie Freeman. This marks the first time in history an MLB team has two players under 22 going to the All-Star Game.
Soroka is the lone Canadian selected this year.
The All-Star Game takes place July 9 in Cleveland.
View photos from Soroka’s major league debut in the gallery below: