Real Deal Akil Inspired By Mays, Griffey Jr., & Bonds: He’s A Whole Mood In The D

Real Deal Akil Inspired By Mays, Griffey Jr., & Bonds: He’s A Whole Mood In The D

Just when you thought it was safe to turn away from the TV, Real Deal Akil Baddoo comes through on Tuesday with his first career walk-off hit. 

 

It’s the bottom of the 10th inning with runners on first and third. Real deal Akil Baddoo faces a  2-1 pitch count and rips an RBI single to right field to give the Detroit Tigers a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins.  

This has been a week of firsts for the Class A baller who seemed to come out of nowhere, hitting an Easter Sunday homer on the first pitch he saw in his MLB career. The feat landed him in the Tigers history books as the ninth player to go yard in his first career at-bat. 

He followed that performance with a two-out Grand Slam against the Twins on Monday afternoon, making Real Deal the only player in franchise history to homer in his first two career games.

After being showered by the team with a Gatorade ice bath, Baddoo, during his post-game press conference, said: 

“Always stay ready. Be ready for your shot, be ready to shine and take advantage of it, and that’s what I did.” He added, “I was looking for something off-speed, I got it, and we ended up getting the dub.”

Real Deal Akil entered Tuesdays’ matinee as a pinch-runner in the bottom of the eighth inning. (Don’t ask us why he was on the bench, to begin with) which ultimately landed him in rightfield, where he later ended the game with one swift flick of the wrist. 

“He’s been looking forward to these moments for his entire life, and he’s taking the opportunity and running with it,” said A.J. Hinch during the post-game press conference. 

Hinch goes on to say, “One of the things we’ve talked about since day one is his maturity, his calmness, and demeanor. There’s so much to like about him in those moments, and clearly, early in his career, he’s showing he can step up pretty big for us.”

After Tuesdays’ heroics, he is the only player with two home runs and a walk-off hit in his first three career games since Clevelands Josh Bard in 2002. He’s also the first Tigers player with a walk-off hit within his first three career games since Gabe Alvarez did it in 1998.

 

 

Baddoo was an unknown prospect that never played above Class A until this season. He spent most of 2020 recovering from Tommy John’s surgery on his left (throwing) elbow, which derailed his 2019 campaign.

While formulating his comeback, Baddoo sought inspiration on film from some of the game’s most notable names, like Ken Griffey Jr, Barry Bonds, and Willie Mays, who are his three favorite players. 

If he keeps raking like this, he too could be mentioned amongst the greats one day.

Next for the Tigers is the series finale against the Twins, with the first pitch scheduled for Wednesday at 1:10 p.m.