The cornerstone piece of the Atlanta Braves arduous rebuild made his much anticipated debut on Wednesday night at Turner Field. Dansby Swanson didn’t disappoint as he picked up a pair of hits in his first game in a Braves uniform.
Dansby Swanson, the first overall pick in the 2015 draft, gave Braves fans a glimpse into the future as he went 2-for-4 in his first major league game. He was cheered throughout the game by the sparse Atlanta crowd but the loudest ovation came in the second inning when he laced an opposite field single for his first major league hit. Swanson capped off his evening with a ninth inning line drive up the middle for his first career multi-hit game.
On Tuesday, the Braves made room for Swanson by trading veteran shortstop Erick Aybar to the Detroit Tigers. The Braves Double-A affiliate Mississippi had an off day, when Swanson received a call from his manager Louis Salazar saying he was being called up to Atlanta. He wasted no time packing his bags and immediately drove to his parent’s house outside of Atlanta on the eve of his big league debut. Prior to the game, Swanson commented on his journey by saying, “I slept at my parent’s house last night. I don’t know how many people can say they did that the night before their debut. But I know the list is short.”
While Swanson represents hope for the future, he could not prevent the Braves from losing their league leading 76th game as they fell to the Minnesota Twins 10-3. As a sign of tough times facing this year’s team, the Braves ticket department ran a $2 ticket special for the game. The $2 ticket price matched the jersey number the Marietta, Georgia native wore for the team he grew up watching.
“Probably as close to a dream come true as possible,” Swanson said after the game. “That’s the only way I can sum it up. Playing for your hometown team, basically going out there and doing what you’ve worked your whole life for is pretty special.”
The Braves have had a number of players make their major league debut the past two seasons. However, Swanson is the team’s top ranked prospect and has been touted as a franchise-changing player since he was acquired from Arizona. Braves fans and front office members alike certainly hope tonight signifies the beginning of the ascent back up the mountain for this once proud organization.