From Sawmill To The Bigs: D-backs Pitcher Completes Improbable Journey

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If you’re looking for a sports story to cheer you up, look no further. Matt Peacock, 27, of Saraland, Alabama found himself on the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday night. It was his Major League debut and it was improbable for him to even be on the bump in the 13th inning, closing out the Colorado Rockies for a 10-8 win.

Peacock, who even had a bloop single in the 13th that led to a Ketel Marte two-run double for the 10-8 lead, told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale that he couldn’t believe what was happening to his life. Peacock became the first player since 1945 to debut in extra innings, record a hit and get the win. And then there were people in the clubhouse doing things he’d never experienced.

“There are people giving me this food in the clubhouse that’s amazing. I’m like, ‘What’s going on here?’ I feel like I should be helping them out. They got guys putting my clothes away. I’m like, ‘Hey, let me do that,’ Peacock said.

“I still can’t believe I’m here.’’

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

The story goes that Peacock had one college scholarship offer out of high school (South Alabama) only to struggle, have elbow surgery, quit the team and go to work in the saw mill business with his family. Ninety-hour weeks followed and paid him about $1,500 a week. He ate truck stop food, slept in sketchy hotels and led the life of blue-collar America.

Eventually, Peacock went back to South Alabama, had enough success as a closer to be drafted by the D-backs in the 23rd round of the 2017 draft. Then came the climb through the low minors from 2017-2019. Then came COVID.

With nowhere to pitch, Peacock went back to the sawmill grind and the blue-collar lifestyle. Fast forward to 2021. Peacock’s back after a year of that grind.

“I see the game a little different than anyone else. I know there are things you can be doing, like working 12-hour shifts, and just not enjoying life as much. So, I don’t let the moment get too big. I stay in the moment,’’ the rookie told the old veteran MLB reporter.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.

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