PHOENIX (KDKA) — A whirlwind of a rookie season continued Tuesday night for Pirates’ shortstop Cole Tucker when he hit his second home run of the season in his hometown of Phoenix.
“It was nuts, man,” Tucker told the USA Today following a 6-2 Pirates victory over the Diamondbacks. “I couldn’t even play it cool. I was trying to, but the 12-year-old came out of me.”
Tucker grew up in Phoenix and was a huge fan of the Diamondbacks during his childhood, Tuesday night, a boyhood dream came true as he stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the eighth inning and sent a first-pitch fastball from Arizona pitcher Zack Godley over the right field wall.
The home run gave the Pirates a 6-0 lead over the Diamondbacks and for Tucker, hitting a home run in the stadium he used to cheer his favorite team on in, was surreal.
“It sounds cheesy, but Chase Field means so much to me,” he said to the USA Today. “I grew up as a baseball fan here. To hit a home run means the world, man.”
One of Tucker’s childhood idols was former Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson, someone he cheered on in person during the 2001 World Series, was in the building in the broadcast booth during the home run.
“Holy poop!” Tucker exclaimed in his interview. “That’s insane, My closet D-Backs fan is coming out. I always dreamed of winning games in this stadium and now I’m on the other team and I still get to do that.”
Once his home run left the yard, you would’ve thought he was playing at PNC Park given the reaction.
Nearly 350 friends and family were in attendance and screaming wildly.
“Making your debut is awesome, that’s number one, but this is a close second,” Tucker told the USA Today. “This is home. I grew up coming to games here. I learned baseball here. I taught myself how to read reading the D-Backs media guides.”