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Rodriguez's resilience pays off
01/15/2013 3:34 PM ET
 
"I never know when my last baseball game is going to be, I don't know when my last season is, you never know when it's done... It's just waiting for that call."

That Was Storm catcher Eddy Rodriguez, on April 2, 2012, being interviewed for his second run in Single-A advanced ball with the Storm at the age of 26.

Eddy believed then he had what it takes to reach the Major Leagues then, he was just waiting for that call.

Rodriguez was with the team last season, helping them capture the California League Championship and returned with catcher heavy Padres' organization.

Just that off-season the San Diego Padres made a deal with the Cincinnati Reds acquiring Yasmani Grandal to sit behind the dish for the Friars.

Grandal and Rodriguez are both part of the Miami University family as Yasmani superseded Eddy for the Canes.

Eddy immediately was the everyday catcher for the Storm and was having an average season (73H, 13hr, .223) before the hard work; passion, determination, and patience came calling.

On July 31, 2012 Grandal, a fellow rookie, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday for a strained muscle, Rodriguez got his call.

The Padres shipped Eddy to meet up with the team in Cincinnati, where they were in a series against the Reds, the organization who originally drafted Rodriguez.

"That's what you dream of," said Eddy on his call to the bigs. "You dream of being in that position. It's like a kid on Christmas day, receiving that present you've wanted for the last five years. It was a beautiful thing."

Having your dreams come true in life most people rarely achieve, but that Day Eddy went above and beyond his expectations.

Facing Reds ace Johnny Cueto who hadn't allowed a hit all afternoon and was tied for the most wins in the Majors at the time, Eddy connected.

Four pitches later, Rodriguez was trotting the bases after sending a 2-1 slider from Reds starter Johnny Cueto 416 feet over the wall in left-center field becoming the 112th player to ever hit a homerun in their first Major League at bat.

"To tell you the truth, I don't remember touching first base or touching third base," said Rodriguez of his home run. "I have a feeling I sorta blacked out, but I could recollect it after seeing video of it."

Eddy spent only two games with the Padres before finishing the season with AAA Tucson.

The San Diego Padres re-signed Rodriguez in the offseason and most recently invited him to Major League camp for Spring Training.

"Spending time up in the Major Leagues just get's you hungrier and more motivated," said Eddy on his baseball future. "I want to put my self in the position to be the guy they need, bet he guy they're going to call up. I'm the same guy that's just excited to put a uniform on."

Eddy will report to Padres camp in Peoria, AZ on February 12 with yet another chance to continue his dreams.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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