A pitcher learned he would be returning to Major League Baseball for the first time in four years in an emotional announcement by his manager.
Matthew LeCroy, manager of the Washington Nationals Double-A team the Harrisburg Senators, called Aaron Barrett up in front of his teammates.
“You’ve been an inspiration to me, brother,” LeCroy said, starting to choke up. “An inspiration to these coaches, to these players. And it’s an honor that I got to manage you, but it’s more of an honor to tell you that you’re going back to the big leagues.”
LeCroy pulled a baseball out of his sweatshirt pocket and tossed it to Barrett, whose teammates swarmed him.
ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt tweeted it was the best thing he saw today.
Barrett, 31, had success as a relief pitcher for the Nats in 2014 and 2015, going 6-3 with a 3.47 ERA.
But Tommy John surgery interrupted his career, and other injuries further delayed it, according to MLB.com.
Barrett made it back to spring training for the first time this year, and he had 2.75 ERA and 62 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings for the Senators this season, earning his late-season promotion to the Nats.