Legends On Deck

Mets Bradford Makes MLB Debut And Showcases Devastating Slider

Chasen Bradford during the Mets 2016 Spring Training workouts. (Photo by: Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck)

On June 22nd, the New York Mets called up Chasen Bradford from Triple-A Las Vegas 51’s, but neither of his family and friends figured that it would take until Sunday before he made his Major League Debut.

But finally, in the ninth inning of a Mets 8-2 lead over the San Francisco Giants, manager Terry Collins summoned Bradford to do what he has been dreaming of doing his whole life, close out a game on the highest level in baseball.

The Las Vegas native has taken the mound in 303 games in his minor league career, and on June 25th the wait was over as he took the mound as a major league relief pitcher.

The first batter to face Bradford, was Brandon Crawford and after a 89 MPH fastball sailed to outside for a ball, Crawford swung at an 88 MPH four seamer grounding out to first baseman Lucas Duda.

Next batter Gorkys Hernandez ran the count to 2-1, then put a 90 MPH cutter into play, hitting a ground ball single to left field. Bradford then settled down and struck out Nick Hundley on four pitches, earning his 1st MLB K, on a devastating slider.

With two outs, Conor Gillaspie strolled to the plate and walked on five pitches. Then Denard Span, with a 1-2 count, battled Bradford fouling off three straight pitches, before going down on a 85 MPH slider on the right hand corner, that froze Span for the last out of the game, while securing the Mets three-game sweep.

It has been a long journey for Chasen Bradford, but now the wait is finally over and he can say that he is a major league pitcher.

“An entire bar watching my little brother in his Major League debut on an iPad. Incredible!!,” says Mark Bradford.

It was also a day his family will never forget.

“Honestly, aside from the moment I watched my bride walk towards me on my wedding day, I have never once experienced the pure unadulterated joy and nervousness than I did Sunday, watching my younger brother and best friend make his Major League debut with nothing shy of a 2K performance. Some of the toughest grown men you will ever meet, shed tears of joy on Sunday watching that kid throw a baseball like the man he is. I’ve never been more proud in my life,” Chasen’s brother Mark shared with me as he recounted the overwhelming day.

Chasen’s dad Doug Bradford also shared with me his thoughts on his sons amazing day,

“The reality of Chase being in the majors hasn’t really sunk in yet. At least not until I saw him on the mound in San Francisco on Sunday. Then I realized that Chase has been following this dream since he was 4 1/2 years old. Chase didn’t receive a huge signing bonus so he had to work very hard. He has made a lot of sacrifices but he has persevered through many trials and tribulations to realize his dream. Obviously his mother, brother and I as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins are extremely proud of all his accomplishments.”

Congrats Chasen on staying the course, truly believing it would happen and working hard to finally reach your dreams. You deserve it!


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