Drew Maggi’s dream has finally come true.
After 13 years as an infielder in the minor league system, the Pittsburgh Pirates called Maggi up to the majors after he had played eight games in Double-A Altoona to start the 2023 season. He was on the bench as the team defeated the Cincinnati Reds 2-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Maggi, 33, was called up as Bryan Reynolds was put on the Bereavement List and the team transferred first baseman Ji-Man Choi to the 50-day injured list with a left Achilles strain to make room on the 40-man roster.
“I always believed this moment would come,” he said Sunday. “There was a little bit of me that was like, ‘You know what? You love playing baseball. Keep going no matter what.’ Crazy things happen in this game. So I’m very thankful that I’m here and that I get to enjoy this. I’m excited for the day.”
Maggi was selected by the Pirates in the 15th round of the 2010 draft. He was in the Pirates’ farm system from 2010 to 2014. He would then be in the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Guardians, Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies’ organizations before coming back to the Pirates in 2022.
Callix Crabbe, the manager of the Altoona Curve, announced Maggi’s call-up in a video posted to Twitter.
“It with great pleasure that I get to promote my first person to the major leagues, someone that is tremendously important to this group and someone that exemplifies grit,” Crabbe said in the clip.
Maggi was in tears.
“Definitely a lot of thinking back. Was getting a lot of texts, calling my family,” he said. “It’s two hours on the drive. Had a lot of time. Was going through old photos, old memories and moments, just throughout my career. Pictures of my family in different cities.
“It’s been a special 24 hours. It’s been crazy. I can’t explain it. I’m very thankful for the Pirates doing this for me. It’s crazy, man. Just being here and walking through the clubhouse. It’s been a dream come true.”
Maggi played more than 1,000 games in the minor leagues. He has a .254 career batting average and 45 home runs.
It’s unclear whether Maggi will get to play in a game. Pittsburgh is off on Monday and stay home to host the Dodgers.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.