It was almost exactly nine years ago -- May 2, 2012 -- that Will Middlebrooks became a major-leaguer.
But while it's one thing to live out the dream of making your big-league debut, it's a completely different story when you get to do in front of 37,434 fans at Fenway Park.
"I think I walked in my first at-bat because I couldn't swing," said Middlebrooks in the latest episode of the City of Boston Credit Union's "Uniquely Boston" series. "I couldn't swing the bat because I was so in awe of everything around me.
"It was a full house. Fenway isn't the biggest in terms of how much capacity is but (before) you're playing down at McCoy (Stadium) where there is 10,000 max, probably 8,000. Just that. The smells. The sounds. Everything is burned in from my soul from that night. I can tell you probably every pitch from that game.
"Just being able to experience it with my family. I honestly felt nervous at first but then I felt prepared. I felt so locked in. I had put so much work in. I went through the whole rookie program the year before and that was a really good thing for me. Small-town kid, it was a culture shock for me."
Hitting eighth that night against the A's, Middlebrooks went 2-for-3 with a walk and stolen base. He would go on to total a .288 batting average and .835 OPS with 15 home runs in just 75 games that rookie season.