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Tampa Bay Rays position player Luke Raley got a pretty cool keepsake after he found himself on the mound striking out Toronto Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero.
Raley had started the game at first base, but with the Rays down 10-1 in the top of the 8th inning, he took to the mound.
Was he excited? No, he was not.
“Scared,” Raley said. “Yeah, it’s not my favorite place to be. I’ve told them before that I got rocked in high school, so I can’t imagine what these guys would actually do to me if I tried to pitch. So, just try to lob it over the plate and save our bullpen.”
The first hitter Raley faced was Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, who cracked a single into right field.
Then came Guerrero. Against all odds, Raley struck him out with a 50 mph curveball.
Now, it’s not important that Guerrero’s next at-bat against Raley ended with a grand slam. One he hadn’t even bothered to put batting gloves on for.
Also, let’s ignore that Raley got shelled in the final two innings of the Rays’ 20-1 loss, and posted a 30.38 ERA. All that matters is he struck out Guerrero, who was a good sport about it, despite getting razzed back in the dugout.
Guerrero signed the strikeout ball for Raley, which is an awesome piece of memorabilia.
Adding “you got me” was a nice touch.
That Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is one giving guy. Just last week, he gave a bat to a young Blue Jays fan who had beaten cancer.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle