Kalish: 'A pretty special day'

BOSTON -- Ryan Kalish began his Saturday morning on a bus in Toledo, Ohio, with the rest of his Pawtucket Red Sox teammates.

The PawSox were traveling back to Rhode Island, and after two separate flights, the club finally arrived at McCoy Stadium at approximately 2:30 p.m. As he was getting off the bus at the ballpark, Pawtucket manager Torey Lovullo called Kalish over and told him he was being promoted to the majors.

“I was so tired and my head was fuzzy when he called me over,” said Kalish. “When my manager, Torey Lovullo, told me, I was like, ‘Wow. This is insane.’ I’m just going to have some fun and keep it going hopefully.”

It didn’t take long for the 22-year-old outfielder to realize he had actually made it to the big leagues. He quickly made his way to Fenway Park and was thrust into the lineup, batting eighth and playing left field.

The organization thinks so highly of Kalish's ability, the Red Sox designated outfielder Jeremy Hermida for assignment to make room for him.

He didn’t disappoint in his debut.

Kalish got a hit in his first major league at-bat in the third inning when he lined a shot to right field off Tigers starter Max Scherzer. Kalish finished the day 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.

“Incredible. This is what you dream of as a kid. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. This is it,” Kalish said after the Red Sox won 5-4 in dramatic fashion by way of a three-run walk-off double by David Ortiz in the bottom of the ninth.

“It’s like any other thing, you have to keep it even keeled out there and you’re trying to help the team win,” said Kalish. “I was seeing the ball pretty well. He threw me a changeup over the plate and I just took a good swing at it and it went through the hole.”

When he reached first base, the 37,498 fans in attendance gave him a Fenway Park welcome with a standing ovation.

“Oh, man. It’s special,” Kalish said. “To get that from these fans, and they’re so faithful, and hopefully we can give them some more wins and I can be a part of that.”

He got the ball from his first hit and Red Sox manager Terry Francona gave him the scorecard too.

“It’s all about winning here and that’s what I want to do,” Kalish said. “It’s a pretty special day.”

After the game, Francona said Kalish made a good first impression.

“It was a pretty exciting day for the organization,” said Francona. “It was good the way he swung the bat, but what a kid. I think it’s a pretty big compliment to him that we feel he can come up right smack in the middle of our season and give us a boost. He’s almost like Trot Nixon. He looks like him, plays like him. He’s gonna be fun to watch grow into a really good player.”