In a game that was never close, the Cleveland Indians downed the Chicago White Sox 7-0 on Saturday night. As of that win, the Indians had won five in a row, while the White Sox had dropped their last three, but none of that matters. The best thing I saw Saturday night when I stumbled across this game was White Sox rookie outfielder Jacob May. After Melky Cabrera left the game in the middle of the seventh inning, May made a pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the inning and shot a single through the right side of the infield for his first major league hit.
May spent four years in the minor leagues before he earned a spot on the White Sox’s Opening Day roster this season. After being drafted in the third round of the 2013 MLB Draft, May hopped around for his first season between Single-A ball, Rookie League and even the Australian Baseball League (earlier pun intended, because Australia = kangaroos). May even spent time in the Arizona Summer League (the bottom of the minor league totem pole) as recently as 2015 before getting the call to play Triple-A last year.
Of the 18 games the White Sox have played so far, May has started 10 games—including Opening Day—and has seen time in three more. It took the rookie 31 plate appearances before he recorded his first hit. His hard-earned trip on the base paths didn’t last long, though, as he was thrown out at second when Jose Abreu hit a chopper to Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez.
On his way back to the dugout, May gave a head nod to Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor, who I can only assume extended his congratulations to the Chicago outfielder. As he reached the dugout, May hopped again. Only this time it was down the steps into the dugout. As he landed, May let out a yell of relief and joy that could be heard on the broadcast.
May is yet to record a hit since, but I’m sure none will be sweeter than his first hit Saturday night.
Photo by Brigham Berthold