There’s no place like home.
Cincinnati Reds’ MLBbro pitcher Hunter Greene is off and running in the Majors. After an impressive debut against the Atlanta Braves Last Sunday, Greene showed his enthusiasm to finally play at home in Los Angeles. The Sherman Oaks phenom used to attend Dodgers games consistently as a kid. On Saturday night, he introduced LA’s star-studded lineup to his generational heater.
Greene started in front of a large contingent of familiar faces and the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 Draft didn’t disappoint, tossing a super lit five innings against the Dodgers on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 17, 2022
Greene’s 34th pitch of 100+ miles per hour set a new MLB record for a start. He added five more to bring his total to 39, before exiting the game with one out in the bottom of the 6th inning, having thrown 80 pitches. The future Black Ace struck out six and allowed two runs – on a two-run Trea Turner home run in the 6th.
It Was Written…
Greene’s journey to becoming a professional pitcher began in 2007, when he first stepped into the Compton Youth Academy as a 7-year-old. Greene was introduced to the Urban Youth Academy, the Elite Development Invitational (Now called Hank Aaron Invitational), and the Dream Series as a young ball player.
“For me, opportunities that were given to me at such a young age, like the Urban Youth Academy, the Elite Development Invitational, the Dream Series … just being around the people and the event meant a lot to me,” Greene said during an interview with MLB Network in 2017. “It’s all about the opportunities. I really think that the people here, the players that are here can get that opportunity, that exposure, it’s definitely going to change their lives. Not just on the field as a baseball player, but as a person.”
Though early in his career, Greene has assumed the responsibility of connecting young Black athletes to the game of baseball. Greene spoke with media members before Dodgers Stadium debut: Not only about how special pitching in LA is, but how he’s invested in helping other Black kids from underserved communities.
“Obviously I came here as a kid to a lot of games. I was just talking to our infield coach and first base coach about how I would sit down the third-base line, watch Rafael Furcal and the amazing player he was. Just a beautiful experience to be here and to pitch on Saturday will be pretty special.”
Hit The Mound Running
The Reds’ No. 1 prospect won his MLB debut and turned heads as he’s done for most of his baseball career. He struck out two batters in each of the first three innings. He allowed one run and two hits in the fourth inning, and two solo homers in the fifth to finish with a stat line of three earned in 5 innings.
Out of 92 pitches, thrown he threw 56 for strikes. Over 20+ of his fastballs hit over triple digits, and in the fifth inning before being pulled he was still throwing upwards of 101 MPH which is pretty impressive. Greene is showing with his pitches a lot of enticing mix of speed and movement. He was even better on Saturday and had the gas flowing. The support from friends and family definitely heightened the intensity of the moment.
Prior to the game Greene was asked who would be in attendance.
“I don’t even know who’s going to watch me,” Greene said. “I know my immediate family is. There are obviously some great past players that work here for the Dodgers and are on the field pregame and postgame. So it’ll be pretty special to pitch in front of them…….I know a lot of people here, just being from here. There will be a lot of players and past kids that I played with, friends of mine. So just to have them here for them to see that I made it. And you know, there’s also a lot of haters out there. People that said I would never even get past high school baseball. So they’re going to see the game on Saturday, I’m sure.”
The 75th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier for baseball was on Friday, April 15th thus Major League Baseball deeming it Jackie Robinson Day. Greene, spoke about the importance of it to him,
That’s a heavy question,” Greene said, when asked how he potentially could mirror Robinson’s legacy as a Black player.
“To be out here as a Black player and as a young man, to represent him and what he stood for is super important. And to shed that light on our community as well and to let these kids know that they can do it…….And to do it with grace and to always be poise and just represent. It’s not just about yourself, but it’s about your family and the next generation that follows.”
MLBbro Hunter Greene acknowledged the major legacy of Jackie Robinson and what it meant to play a day after his Day.
“I’m starting my own legacy now. I would like to think that I’ll be here for a long time. My goal is to play 15-20 years in this game. But to touch on Jackie’s legacy, what he endured as a player, as a man, is unbelievable to see the grace that he played with every day on the field, the amazing teammate he was….I always get emotional talking about it. To be here at Dodger Stadium and to be here for the 75th anniversary is pretty special. I miss Jackie Robinson day by one day. I’m pitching, so kind of bummed about that. But I’m sure one of my starts will fall on Jackie Robinson day down the line.”
The MLBbro stud seems to have his legacy set on being great. All the fans in Cincinnati should be ecstatic to have a dominant pitcher for years to come. `