Big League call-ups are always anxiety-filled endeavors. Well, maybe traditionally. This season is a bit strange with empty stadiums and piped-in crowd noise and Styrofoam fans.
That in no way lessens the thrill to make a Major League debut, regardless which side of the ball you might be on.
A decade after first trading his glove for an indicator and six years after breaking into the professional ranks, Kyle McCrady made his top flight debut this week, working the four-game series at Safeco Field between the Mariners and the visiting Texas Rangers.
The sheer numbers of the situation is daunting for any newcomer. Major League Baseball lists only 92 full-time umpires, and assign numbers 1-92 to reflect that. Therefore, any umpire with a number 93 or higher isn’t full-time. McCrady sported No. 106.
It’s also somewhat fortuitous, but only somewhat.
McCrady was already on a list of potential call-ups when the COVID-19 pandemic shut the season down, so when the Mariners selected Tacoma as its alternate training site, it only made sense that a potential umpire call-up would join the potential player call-ups at Cheney Stadium. Plus, it’s only a short drive.
A couple months later, McCrady punched and rotated his way onto a Big League crew, where he’ll stay for the moment.
After Seattle’s matinee win over Texas on Labor Day, McCrady and his crew flew with the Mariners to San Francisco, where they will play two games then an off day before three at Arizona.
McCrady and Co., however, will stay in San Francisco to work the four-game series between the Giants and the Padres.
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