MIAMI — It’s a long way from the Florida State League to the majors, which is why catcher John Bormann was in such a rush on Interstate 75.
A catcher for Class A Bradenton, Bormann was preparing Sunday morning to play in Port Charlotte, Florida, when he learned he had been called up to make his big league debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had an afternoon game in Miami.
With a Bradenton coach driving, Bormann made the three-hour trip across the state in 2:15.
The Pirates’ roster move came because catcher Francisco Cervelli was nursing a sore foot, and no one was more surprised than Bormann, 24, who is in his third professional season. His Bradenton manager gave him the news at 9 a.m.
“I’m thinking, “Maybe he misspoke. Maybe I’m going to Altoona,” Bormann said. “But he said, ‘No, we’re serious. You’re going to Miami.”
Bormann’s big league debut came in the ninth inning of the Pirates’ 10-3 loss, when he pinch-hit and struck out. He was smiling afterward anyway, and so were the rest of the Pirates.
“Imagine, when he woke up today, he was going to go on a bus to Port Charlotte, maybe play, maybe not,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “He ends up playing in a major league game. Those types of things in the organization we’re aware of.”
Bormann said the Bradenton clubhouse erupted in cheers at the announcement of his promotion. He shared the news with family while in the car.
“The best part of it the whole ride over here was just hearing the reactions to my news and just living my dream out, but also for them, hearing the excitement in their voices,” he said. “They were just as dumbfounded as I was.”