Ivan De Jesus Jr. was drafted in the second round by the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2005.
That’s how long the 32-year-old infielder has been playing this game at the pro level.
Recently promoted to the Rochester Red Wings, the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, he played in 21 games with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos prior to his jump to the next level.
In 21 games, he hit .224 and produced one of the most memorable moments of the season. On Aug. 1,
with the game tied, De Jesus drilled a line drive to the outfield. Two runners scored to give Pensacola a 10-8 lead over Birmingham. De Jesus figured he’d try to cross the plate as well.
“When I touched third base, I said I was going. We already had two runs and the lead. I figured if I score that’s great. If I’m out, that’s okay. The good thing is we won.”
Until that night, De Jesus, in all the years he’s played this game, never hit an inside-the-park home run. His 5-year-old son was on hand to witness the special moment as the crowd cheered.
Read the full article in the Aug. 15 issue of Navarre Press. Subscribe online at navarrepress.com for as little as $38 per year.