After more than four years in the minors, Steven Ames’ dream of becoming a big-league pitcher finally came true.
The Hudson’s Bay High School graduate was called up to the majors Sunday by the Miami Marlins.
But even as he got his call-up, Ames’ manager at Triple-A New Orleans couldn’t help but have fun with him.
Ron Hassey called Ames into the dugout before New Orleans’ game Saturday at Albuquerque, telling him he was being sent to Double-A.
As Ames turned to walk away, Hassey said to Ames: “You’re going to the big leagues.”
“I was really excited,” Ames told MLB.com. “It was crazy.”
Ames took a red-eye flight to Miami, where he arrived a couple hours before the Marlins’ game Sunday against the Pirates.
Ames’ road to the big leagues began in June 2009 when he was drafted out of Gonzaga in the 17th round of the first-year player draft by the Dodgers.
He rose through the ranks before being added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster last offseason and was promoted to Triple-A Albuquerque, where he went 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 34.1 innings, pitching in relief.
Ames was traded to the Marlins on July 6 as part of the trade that sent pitcher Ricky Nolasco to Los Angeles. Ames had pitched seven scoreless innings over five outings since joining New Orleans, Miami’s Triple-A affiliate.
Ames was called up Sunday to replace right-hander Kevin Slowey, who went on the disabled list with a strained forearm. Ames is expected to pitch out of middle relief for the Marlins.
Like Ames, Marlins manager Mike Redmond also is a product of Gonzaga. Ames said he met Redmond a couple of times during the 2010 offseason while Redmond, still playing in the big leagues, was hitting in the cages on campus.
“(Redmond’s) picture is up there in the locker room,” Ames told MLB. com. “We have his jersey up there from when he won the World Series with the Marlins (in 2003).”
Ames, 25, is a 2006 graduate of Hudson’s Bay High School. He played two seasons for Columbia Basin College in Pasco before moving to Gonzaga, where he was drafted after his junior season.