After a long and winding league trip, former Tiger Chris Okey got the call.
After 383 minor league games and 1,359 Clemson hunter appearances, Chris Aoki fulfilled his life dream of making it to Major League Baseball as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Aoki was emotional when he received the news.
Aoki was told he was called up after a battering practice in Triple-A Louisville on Thursday in what was described as an emotional scene. It’s the weird part of baseball’s world, that while the Reds were full of cool colors and tall faces, 99 miles down the road at Louisville Slugger Field, there were smiles, hugs and cheers as Okey’s big-league dreams came true.
The move was confirmed on Friday by the Reds.
Reds player Tyler Stevenson was injured on Thursday when his right thumb fractured his tip.
With blood oozing from his thumb, Stevenson walked off the field with head coach Sean McQueen and straight to the club. Backup catcher Aramis Garcia took charge behind the board.
Stephenson’s hand and thumb were cast in a mould.
Stevenson is expected to miss four to six weeks, leaving a slot on the roster for an alternative catch and Okey has been listed as one of the candidates.
Shortly after the Reds’ Athletic reporter, he wrote on Twitter that the team was expected to call up Aoki.
Aoki played 186 games at Clemson from 2014 to 2016, hitting .301 with 31 home runs and 172 RBI points, before being drafted by the Reds in the second round (43rd place) in the 2016 draft.
Friday morning it was confirmed.
Chris Aoki becomes former eighth Tiger to see MLB field in 2022
Aoki is the eighth former Clemson player to play for the Majors this season, alongside Jeremy Beasley, Seth Beer, Stephen Duggar, Dominic Lyon, Brad Miller, Spencer Strider and Eli White.