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After 15 Years In Minors, Journeyman’s Dream Comes True With Orioles

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You wouldn’t have blamed Manny Barreda if he had decided to just give up on his Major League Baseball dreams.

After all, Barreda spent 15 years in the minors and even served a stint in the Mexican league. (Raise your hand if you even knew there was a Mexican league.)

Not once had he been called up to the majors. Until now.

It’s true. Barreda, 32, received a call-up as a relief pitcher for the Orioles, making his big league dreams a reality after years of toiling away in the bushes.

“Guys get here in different ways, at different ages,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde told Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun. “His is a long, hard-fought path to get here.”

As an aside, Barreda once underwent Tommy John surgery, as Meoli wrote. That tends to derail a pitcher’s career. He also tested positive for COVID last year. So more than a decade of playing in the minors wasn’t the only obstacle.

Barreda was actually drafted by the New York Yankees in the 12th round of the 2007 MLB Draft. He was selected out of Sahuarita High School in Arizona. On Wednesday, he pitched eight scoreless innings in an Orioles win.

Getting from there to here has been an unlikely but inspiring tale.

“Do I wish for a longer journey than this?” Barreda said, via Meoli. “Yes, I do. But, right now, I’ve just got to take it day-by-day.”

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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