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Elephant Rumblings: Sean Kazmar Jr returns to majors with Braves after 12 years in minors

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Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The Oakland A’s have already given us more highs and lows in three weeks than some teams see in three months, between their opening six-game losing skid and their ongoing eight-game winning streak. As usual, win or lose, this club is rarely boring.

But there are plenty of other story lines around the majors, and one of them feels particularly relatable for A’s fans. Perhaps the most surprising part about is is that it didn’t happen right here in Oakland, on our island of misfit toys. Even the name, Sean Kazmar, might catch your eye until you realize it isn’t Scott Kazmir.

Let’s follow Jeff Passan of ESPN on a tweet journey, as he explains the fascinating tale of Kazmar.

You might read that and assume that Kazmar struggled against a decade of injuries, or retired for a while and then came back. But nope, he played in the minors every year, never seeing fewer than a couple hundred plate appearances in any season from 2009-19. Only the pandemic kept him off the field, with no minor leagues for him to play in last summer.

And now he’s back. He eventually left the Padres organization and briefly played in the Mariners and Mets systems, before settling into the Braves farm. He finally got the call back to the bigs over the weekend.

Don’t worry, this story doesn’t end with Adam Dunn finally making it to the postseason only to sit on the bench for 12 innings while even Nick Punto gets to pinch-hit. Of course Kazmar got into a game.

Kazmar was tapped as a pinch-hitter in the 5th inning, batting in place of his team’s starting pitcher. On the fourth pitch, he grounded into a double play. But more importantly, he grounded into a double play in the major leagues. The italics are the important part in this case. That’s certainly how Kazmar sees it, at least.

“I would do it all over again just for a day like today,” Kazmar said. “It was worth the wait to get in and get another at-bat.”

Click here for more from ESPN, and here for more from The Athletic.

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