There aren't too many moments in a baseball player's career that could mean more than hitting a walk-off home run in front of his family. It's an occurrence that many will never accomplish, and though it's not a statistic by any means — I wonder who the all-time leader in "walk-off home runs with family in attendance" is? — it's a personal memory that a select few have experienced and one that those few will never forget.
For recent Phillies call-up Luke Williams, it only took him two games in his career to do so. Spending the first chunk of the season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate, and slashing .352/.439/.465, Williams was promoted to the bigs and made his debut in a pinch-hit appearance on Tuesday, June 8. Picking up a hit in that lone opportunity, Williams then had a bigger chance to make an impact by receiving the starting nod on Wednesday night.
And, boy, did he deliver.
It looks as though he has already earned a new nickname, at least from some teammates, due to his role in helping Team USA qualify for the Olympics earlier in the week. Starting pitcher Zach Eflin watched the moment unfold and felt confident, along with the other players he watched with in the training room.
"We were like, 'He's going to do it right here. Captain America is going to end this right here,'" Eflin said (via Todd Zolecki of MLB.com).
But for Williams, it was a little bit harder to describe how he felt in the moment. There was no "I knew I was going to hit that" or "I felt really good heading into that at-bat," though it doesn't mean that those couldn't be true sentiments. However, Williams, who was asked by play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy how it felt to have that happen in front of family, had a difficult time finding the words.
If there's a better way to kick off your MLB career and endear yourself to the fan base, we haven't found it yet.