Lindsey makes box score -- not batter's box
After 16 years in Minors, callup so close to first MLB at-bat
SAN DIEGO -- It took John Lindsey 16 years for this moment and just because it lasted barely a moment, it was still the thrill of a lifetime.
"It was exciting," said Lindsey, who finally made a regular-season box score by being announced as a pinch-hitter in Wednesday night's 4-0 Dodgers loss to the Padres, only to be immediately lifted when the Padres made a pitching change. "I was waiting for this all my life and I was a lot cooler and calmer than I thought."
Lindsey, called up Monday after 16 years in the Minor Leagues, was sent up to bat for Scott Podsednik and face left-hander Joe Thatcher with one out in the top of the eighth inning and runners on first and second. But as soon as Lindsey was announced, Padres manager Bud Black replaced Thatcher with right-hander Luke Gregerson.
Dodgers manager Joe Torre countered by sending up Andre Ethier to bat for Lindsey, and Ethier bounced Gregerson's first pitch into an inning-ending double play.
"It was something I had to do," Torre said. "It didn't work."
Lindsey, the Pacific Coast League batting champ at Triple-A Albuquerque, said he now has something in common with anyone who has ever played for the Dodgers, including legends like Jackie Robinson and Sandy Koufax and Maury Wills.
"It's truly an honor," said Lindsey, at 33 the oldest non-Asian player to debut in the Majors since 2002.
After the game, Torre said Lindsey would likely start Saturday's game in Houston against left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez and might start Friday night against lefty J.A. Happ.
"My mom and dad and everybody will be there. That would be pretty cool," said Lindsey, who hails from Mississippi.
Lindsey said teammates congratulated him after the brief appearance. Torre gave him the lineup card that has his name written in and crossed out.
"That's going over the fireplace. I don't have one yet, but someday," said Lindsey.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.