CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Moments after stepping into a Major League clubhouse for the first time as a big leaguer, the newest Cleveland Indians reliever, Perci Garner, chatted with the media about his emotions following the call to the Majors and how excited he is to be joining the team he grew up rooting for.
Here are some highlights from the session:
What’s going through your mind after getting the promotion?
“In all honesty it hasn’t really hit me yet. Right when they told me, I had a sudden ‘Oh man, this is really happening.’ Other than that I feel like it’s really not going to hit me until I take the field at game time. Hopefully it hits me at BP, so I can get some nerves out.”
Growing up in Dover, could you ever imagine playing for the Indians?
“No to be honest, I didn’t. When I got drafted by the Phillies, I completely sold into the Phillies and I wanted to play for them. Then unfortunately things didn’t work out, then the Indians called me. It was almost like this moment when they called me, I was like ‘Man this is too good to be true.’”
Were the Indians your team growing up?
“Definitely. I have been to a lot of games here back when it was called Jacobs Field. I caught a couple home runs from old players — Ellis Burks and just players I grew up following, like Jim Thome.”
What does the call to the Majors mean to you?
“It means a lot. I’ve went through a lot of adversity in my life. It’s just another step that I had to get over. Being able to get in this locker room around these guys who I look up to and play alongside of them is nothing else. Tito told me — I don’t know if he wants me saying this — but he said ‘You have your child’s birth and your debut and they are kind of fighting for the No. 1 spot.’ It’s every kid’s dream that plays little league baseball. It’s crazy.”
What about stepping into a playoff race with Cleveland?
“It’s great that they trust in me in all of this. I’m just going to try to not do too much and just do what I’ve been doing all season and that’s just attack hitters. Get the ball down in the zone and get ground balls.”