Milwaukee's Josh Prince. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Monday, April 15, 2013 10:43 PM
As Josh Prince stood on second base, chills ran up and down his body.
It wasn’t the first time he had hit a double, but it was the first time he had done so in front of 40,000 or so screaming fans.
“It was just an awesome feeling,” said Prince. “You dream about it but you really don’t know what to expect.
“It is much more than you could ever dream of, that is for sure.”
Prince’s first hit in the major leagues came in his second game with the Milwaukee Brewers and in just his third at-bat.
At the time, it helped the Brewers tie a game with the Arizona Diamondbacks that they would eventually lose in extra innings. Still, the hit gave Prince, a 26-year-old Barbe High graduate, a sense he belonged at Miller Park.
“You just want to contribute, to show the other guys that you are good enough to play at this level,” Prince said. “You don’t want to let them down.”
His hit came less than 48 hours after he was called up to replace injured third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who was placed on the disabled list.
It was another high point in a wild opening week of the season for Prince, who was called up from the minor league Nashville Sounds just two days into their season.
“I had just gotten my cable and internet turned on in the apartment,” said Prince. "I wasn’t expecting the call to come that fast in the year.”
After the Sounds lost a Friday night game, Prince was called into the manager’s office.
“I didn’t know what to think,” said Prince. “I was afraid I did something wrong.”
With most of his bags still packed, Prince was told to fly to Milwaukee for the next game.
“I stood there speechless,” Prince said. “I wanted to say thank you and shake his hand, but I can’t remember if I did that now. I was so stunned and then excited.
“Sometimes you hear a guy in the major leagues gets hurt and you kind of get an idea you might be called up. That was not the case this time. I had no idea so it was a real surprise.”
He quickly got on the phone to his parents back in Sulphur and the race to Milwaukee was on.
When Prince arrived at Miller Park for his first big-league game, parents, family and friends were waiting along with thousands of other Brewer faithful.
“Having people there for me was great," Prince said. “You know you are not alone. I want to thank all the people back in Southwest Louisiana who have supported me and sent me good-luck cards. I can’t get back to all of them yet, but I appreciate all they have done for me over the years.”
It helped that he was just coming off spending his first spring camp with the big club, so he knew all the players in thelocker room. Still, the first few moments were overwhelming.
“Everything was so big and clean,” Prince said. “It was just amazing. But you have to get over that because you are there to do a job.”
While he understands right now he is up for an injured player, Prince knows it is his chance to show the Brewers what he can do.
“I want to go out there and do what I can do best,” he said. “I want to play the same game I have played my entire life and have fun doing it.
“You can’t control what the club is going to do and if they are going to send you back down or when. If you (worry about) that you will never do anything right. This is my chance and I want to make the most of it. But, I’m not looking at it as my only chance.”
For now Prince has reached where most have only dreamed and he is loving the moment.
“No words come close to describing the feeling,” he said.
But he will always remember the chills he felt standing on second base and hearing the crowd roar.