Team Italy catcher Brett Sullivan makes MLB debut for San Diego Padres

Team Italy catcher Brett Sullivan makes MLB debut for San Diego Padres
19/04/2023
Catching 2018 American League Cy Young Award Winner and MLB All-Star Blake Snell against the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, Team Italy slugger Brett Sullivan made his MLB debut for the San Diego Padres in front of his family and friends after spending eight years in the minor leagues

Team Italy manager and National Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Piazza could not be happier for San Diego Padres catcher Brett Sullivan, who led all catchers in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with seven hits and compiled an impressive .368 batting average as the Team Italy cleanup hitter during the international competition. It was the hot bats of Brett Sullivan and Azzurri teammates Nicky Lopez (.474 BA) and Dominic Fletcher (.368 BA) that led the Italians to the WBC quarterfinals in Tokyo, Japan.

Although the San Diego Padres suffered a 8-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Petco Park in San Diego on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, the enthusiasm and support for catcher Brett Sullivan during his MLB debut behind the dish and at every one of his three plate appearances was heard by his adoring fan club made up of family, friends and Friar faithful who have witnessed the 29-year-old's ascent to the major leagues. Perhaps the most enthusiastic was his three-year-old son Hudson.

Just a few days earlier on Saturday during a postgame chat with Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas' manager Phillip Welman when son Hudson was nearby lathering on a fast-melting ice cream cone, Brett Sullivan learned of his callup to the San Diego Padres and received a round of applause from everyone in the clubhouse. The Team Italy slugger said, “It came as a complete shock, but it was one of the best moments of my life...to have my son there with me and to be able to make a dream come true.”

Although the ovation was meant for his father, Hudson ate up the attention and joined in the fun. Brett Sullivan continued, "He thought everyone was cheering for him. He was all excited, licking the ice cream. Everyone was clapping, so he’s clapping. He didn’t know what was going on. It was a special moment.” Forza #Italia!

ATLANTA BRAVES-SAN DIEGO PADRES BOX SCORE

by Roberto Angotti

(Photo of Team Italy catcher Brett Sullivan during the 2023 World Baseball Classic by WBC/MLB)