If you’re a Royals fan, or just a fan of baseball in general, you can’t help but root for guys like Irving Falu. After playing nearly 950 games in the minors, the 28 year old former 21st-round pick of the 2003 draft (the same draft class of former first-round pick Mitch Maier) finally got the call he’s been waiting for his whole life. Upon receiving the call of his promotion to the bigs last Wednesday night, Falu said he was “crying like a baby”.
Fast forward to Sunday.
Irving Falu was thrown in the fire and came out clean.
He made his first career start at shortstop, giving Alcides Escobar his first day-off of 2012. He was put to the test almost immediately when he retired Alex Rodriguez on a can-o’-corn groundball with a runner on third to end the first inning.
In his first career at-bat, with his mother, brother, niece, and nephew in the stands, Falu ripped a two-out triple down the right field line. In doing so, Irving became the 3rd Royal to hit a triple in his first career AB (Brian McRae – ’90, Edgar Caceras – ’95). After he popped up from his head-first slide into third base, he was congratulated by Alex Rodriguez, who proceeded to hand Falu the ball that he had hit.
Falu followed that up by hitting a leadoff single to right in the bottom half of the fifth. He would eventually come around to score on a two-out single by Alex Gordon.
He finished the day going 2-for-4 with a triple, one run scored, and one strikeout.
In the grand scheme of a 10-4 loss to New York, Falu’s big day was slightly overshadowed by yet another Luke Hochevar one-inning meltdown. But the switch-hitting utility player will never forget how he made his pro debut in Kansas City against Derek Jeter, A-Rod and the New York Yankees, in front of his family, and alongside many of the guys who he saw come and go during his nine seasons in the Royals’ minor league system.
Here’s to you, Irving. Keep it up. You never know who could be watching.