Wynton Bernard’s memorable Major League debut helps Rockies knock off Diamondbacks


All Wynton Bernard had to do was step to the plate on Friday night. Regardless of his performance, he’d already earned the admiration and respect of the Colorado faithful.

After 11 seasons grappling in the minors, Bernard’s Major League debut on Friday against the Arizona Diamondbacks somewhat overshadowed the outcome of the game – a 5-3 Rockies win.

It helped, of course, that Bernard was integral to the win, improving Colorado’s record to 51-64. Dinelson Lamet earned the win in relief, and Carlos Estevez sealed it with a save.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, with the game deadlocked at 3-3, Sam Hilliard led off with a ground-rule double. Bernard chopped one down the third-base line, and then beat out the throw to first. Though he was initially called out, a Rockies challenge overturned the call and kept Bernard’s speed on the base path. He immediately stole second to move into scoring position.

As Rockies manager Bud Black said prior to Friday’s game, Bernard has the skillset to impact the game in numerous ways.

When Charlie Blackmon lofted a single to left, Hilliard broke the tie, and Bernard came around on a sacrifice fly one batter later. As Bernard scored the Rockies’ fifth run of the game, Coors Field roared in approval. They appreciated the insurance run as much as they did his arduous path to get there.

They knew it’s not every day that a 31-year-old makes his Major League debut after grinding in the minors for all of his professional life. Bernard’s mom, Janet, was there to bask in the cheers.

In the dead of August, between two teams whose postseason prospects were dead in the water, Bernard’s arrival was, by far, the most interesting storyline of Friday’s affair. The viral video of Bernard FaceTiming his mom with the news of his promotion seemed to permeate Coors Field.

By the time Bernard stepped to the plate in the bottom of the third for his first official at-bat, he was serenaded by an extended round of applause. Rockies fans, it seemed, were well aware of his story. After showing good patience at the plate and working the count full, he grounded out to the second baseman.

It may have been the first time all season fans applauded after a Rockie made a routine out – a wonderful tribute to his remarkable story.




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