Every debut is an exciting opportunity for a major league player. Everyone dreams of taking their first at-bat or first outing on the mound at the highest level — the achievement of finally moving from the backyard or local park to the place you always dreamed of being. For New York Yankees starting pitcher David Phelps, his shot comes on his home turf as the Yanks visit the Kansas City Royals to open the series at Kauffman Stadium today.
While it’s not directly his hometown, Phelps is from St. Louis, which means a number of family and friends will be at the ballpark to cheer him on.
“I’m really excited,” Phelps said. “I’m trying as much as I can to take it like it’s any other game, but it’s a big deal for me. It’s going to be awesome. I’m gonna have a lot of family there.”
Phelps played his high school ball in Hazelwood before going to Notre Dame for his college career. He made the Yanks staff out of spring training this year, but this will be his first major league start.
“It’s a lot nicer than if it were to happen in somewhere like, say, Seattle,” Phelps said. “It’s kind of difficult for some of my family to get up here to watch me throw, so it’s really nice to be so close to home. If it’s gonna be in any other ballpark other than St. Louis, it’s the closest one. It’s just good, in a sense, that I can give back to the people that sacrificed so much for me to be where I am today.”
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