A's rookie reaches end of long road
Posted on: September 13, 2010 11:44 am
Edited on: September 13, 2010 11:44 am
September call-ups always bring with them some great stories, and one of the best in recent memory will be on display Monday night when Bobby Cramer takes the mound for the A's in Kansas City.
According to the Athletics, Cramer, 30, will be the second-oldest American-born starting pitcher to debut since 1957, and the fourth-oldest player in Oakland history to make a big-league debut.
The path Cramer took to get to this point would have beaten most people. He was a 38th-round draft pick in 2001, underwent Tommy John surgery the next year, and walked away from baseball in 2005 after failing to make it out of Class A. As he told MLB.com, he spent two years out of the game working as a gas pipeline maintenance worker and a math teacher before the A's gave him a second shot at minor-league baseball in 2007.
Shoulder troubles ended that stint, and he spent 2008 pitching in an independent league before the A's signed him again. He reached Triple-A in 2009, then Oakland loaned him to the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican League this season. He went 13-3 with a 2.95 ERA, was brought back to the U.S. and assigned to Triple-A Sacramento (photo courtesy of the River Cats), and went 2-2 with a 1.94 ERA in seven starts.
Now he'll finally see his dream come to fruition with family and friends in the stands.
"It's a good story on a personal level," A's manager Bob Geren said. "But on a baseball level, he's been [Sacramento's] best pitcher, and that's what we tend to do. If we need a spot, we go with who's the hottest, and he's been throwing the ball well."
-- David Andriesen
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .