Gift Ngoepe’s singular MLB debut came with a single in his first at-bat.
The Pirates infielder, the first African-born player in major-league history, did better than hold back the tears he said he probably would shed when manager Clint Hurdle called on him. Ngoepe, 27, got a clean base hit off Cubs starter Jon Lester to start the fourth inning Wednesday in Pittsburgh.
“I was like, ‘you’re in the big leagues, you’ve got to be a big guy,’” he recalled afterward (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
“I can’t say enough about his mental strength through this,” first-year Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We’ll find out more as we go about where this is headed and where he is as it relates to baseball.”
At 14-8 the Rockies winningest pitcher in 2016, Bettis, 27, underwent surgery Nov. 29 to remove the cancerous cells. The surgery was deemed a success in December, and Bettis didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Still, there will be periodic tests to make sure the cancer hasn’t returned — a patient isn’t considered truly cancer-free until five years out — and Wednesday’s report was an early, significant hurdle cleared.
“Now I have some clarity,” he said. “When I can get away from what the doctor is going to say, it puts my mind at ease.”
He will continue to be monitored, but Cheap Jerseys Cn for now he can go about preparing for a season in which he’ll be the veteran leader on a talented young staff that includes Jon Gray, 24, and two 26-year-old Tylers, Chatwood and Anderson.