The New York Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-3, on Tuesday. The Mets did not use a traditional starter with seven different pitchers working one or two innings each. The first guy out of the bullpen, 34-year-old Tommy Hunter, hit in the pitcher's spot in the top of the third. Coming into the game, Hunter had four plate appearances in his 14-year career. He was 0-for-4. Of course he ripped a single between third and short.
Hunter was understandably thrilled. This far into his career, nearly three years since his last at-bat, he probably never thought this day would come. So if anyone deserved to dance after hitting a single, it was Hunter.
Of course, then it was time for business. What adventures awaited Hunter on the basepaths? Any fear of a baserunning error was quickly dismissed as Jonathan Villar hit a home run hit one batter later. Then it was time to get on his horse.
Hunter's postgame interview was equally awesome. He said he felt like a kid and he looked like it. Though he did confirm that running around the bases was a bit much.
After seeing him so giddy postgame, it was even more apparent that was one of those special, awesome moments that only baseball can really provide. Teammates going crazy. A professional athlete experiencing something they've always dreamed of long after they accomplished their ultimate dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player and might have even stopped dreaming about it.
Tommy Hunter is proof that the only real unwritten rule should be to have fun.