PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Steve Schrenk is a baseball lifer. After 13 years in the minors, he finally broke into the big leagues with the Phillies. After his playing days were done, he coached in the Phillies minor league system for several years and now serves as a private pitching instructor with Pitching Coach Pro.
Schrenk was drafted in the fourth round by the Chicago White Sox in 1987 and spent 13 years pitching in the minor leagues before finally getting the call to the big leagues from the Phillies in 1999. He made his Major League debut that season on July 3 at Veterans Stadium against the Chicago Cubs.
"Big crowd, fireworks, it was packed all the way to the top. It was hot. It was an awe-inspiring feeling seeing all those people and just being able to know that you were making your debut," he recalled.
"I had to take a minute though to kind of let it sink in and then go back to work. But after I threw my first pitch, I was fine. It was like, this is what I do.”
That was one of 52 appearances Schrenk made in the bigs with the Phillies over two seasons.
Schrenk spent parts of the 1999 and 2000 seasons with the Phillies, pitching mostly out of the bullpen. He did make a couple of starts in 1999 and that meant getting the chance to hit. He remembered his first Major League at bat against hard-throwing Marlins right-hander Ryan Dempster, and the concurrent conversation with the catcher which started as he was preparing to hit.
"He said, 'Hey, are you going to get in the box?' and I'm like, 'Oh, I thought I was in the box.' He just started laughing. I go, 'It's my first time hitting! It's been a long time!' He goes, 'Sure it is,' like I was setting him up. After the third pitch, the strikeout, I'm like, 'I told you I wasn’t setting you up.' He's like, 'Yeah, I believe you now.'"
You can listen to the entire interview with Steve Schrenk above in the latest episode of the KYW Newsradio original podcast, "1-on-1 with Matt Leon." Subscribe on the RADIO.COM app or wherever you get your podcasts.
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