Drew Maggi’s dreams keep coming true.
Most MLB fans were introduced to the 33-year-old after his viral reaction to being called up from Double-A Altoona by the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 23.
On Saturday night, he notched his first two career major league hits not a moment too soon.
He made his MLB debut after 13 minor league seasons on Wednesday. Met with a standing ovation during the team’s 8-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, Maggi was unable to get a hit.
The Pirates optioned him back to Double-A Altoona on Saturday morning. Still, they were able to keep him active as the team’s 27th man for their doubleheader with the Washington Nationals.
Maggi’s first turn at bat came in the seventh inning of the Pirates’ 16-1 victory in the second game of the day. After two balls and two strikes from Nationals pitcher Hobie Harris, Maggi was determined to make contact.
He lined a 2-2 splitter into center field for an RBI single, increasing the Pirates’ lead to 13-0. The crowd absolutely ignited, chanting his name in celebration.
Maggi recalled the pivotal moment in his personal story after the game ended.
“Not trying to do too much. It was like the perfect hit too, cause I saw it go right through the middle and it’s so vivid in my mind right now,” he said. “I was so happy I got it done, got that weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Maggi knew he was playing in his final game before being sent back down, but didn’t let the pressure throw him off.
“It was kind of like it was do or die here,” he told reporters at his locker. “I know, of all people, that this can end very quickly. Who knows where it goes from here. Maybe I never get back up here and that was it. That was going through my head the whole day, so it was kind of like, ‘You know what? I’m swinging. I’m going out hacking.'”
The persistent journeyman found one more opportunity to make an impact before the game ended. He added his first career extra-base hit in the ninth inning, a double off position player Lane Thomas.
“I didn’t know how long I was going to be up here,” he said. “I really wanted to get a hit. I’ve been kind of thinking about it the past day, two days. When I got in there, I was just trying to slow everything down. They were cheering my name, and I was just trying to breathe.”
Maggi’s story easy to cheer for. Encouraging fans to believe in their dreams, it’s safe to say his persistence has made a mark.