During this past offseason, Tim Melville served as a seasonal part-time employee at Little Miss BBQ in Phoenix. He's seemingly a model employee who's loved by co-workers and management, and it sounds like he could have a real future with the company. One of the BBQ shop's owners say they'd "absolutely love to have Tim full-time."
Unfortunately, Tim has another job that makes this pretty difficult. He also happens to be a starting pitcher in the Colorado Rockies organization.
He made his first start of the season on Wednesday night, and it just so happened to come in Arizona as the Rockies took on the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Melville, who last pitched in the majors in 2017, was making his return to big leagues a mere 12 miles away from the restaurant that he worked at during the offseason.
Cool story, right?
Well, that's without even mentioning that Melville delivered the best performance of his career, throwing an absolute gem and shutting down the D-Backs. The 29-year-old right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up just two hits and one run while striking out four. He earned the W in a 7-2 victory for the Rockies -- the first win of his career.
After being selected in the fourth round by the Kansas City Royals in 2008, Melville has spent the last 11 years bouncing around the baseball world. Most of his time has been spent in the minors, pitching for seven different organizations. Prior to Wednesday, he'd only spent 35 days in the majors and had made just six career appearances.
But his love for baseball still clearly burns strong, as does his love for barbecue. That's why he was so eager to spend this past winter working at Little Miss BBQ.
After going to the restaurant's original location for years, he found out that they were opening a second location a little less than 15 miles away. He decided he wanted to be a part of it.
"A lot of guys play golf in the afternoons in the offseason and I was just, like, tired of that," Melville said, via AZ Central. "I fortunately live close to one of the top barbecue places in the country and I'm a big food guy. They let me do an interview process. I kind of told them my resume of 10 years of minor league/major league baseball. Some cooking experience. So they let me get on board."
He ultimately got the job and apparently wasted no time in working his tail off, helping to get the new location ready for opening. Once they were ready for business, Melville was a utility man; He worked the register, he was a busboy, a dishwasher and he even helped in the kitchen and in the BBQ pits.
As a foodie, Melville says he just wanted to get involved and be around the scene, treating the gig as somewhat of an internship. The free BBQ probably didn't hurt, either.
Several Little Miss BBQ employees were attendance at Chase Field to watch their co-worker pitch on Wednesday and they got a pretty great show. They may love him inside the restaurant, but he provided a decent example of good he can be at his other job.
It's always fun to hear stories about people who are relentlessly passionate and hard-working, even when there's reason for them not to be. It's also fun to hear stories of the cards aligning for a pretty perfect moment, and that seemed to be the case for Melville.