Barbe High graduate Gavin Cecchini and parents Glenn and Raissa Cecchini after Gavin signed his letter to play for the New York Mets Saturday at his home in Lake Charles in 2012. (American Press Archives)
Last Modified: Monday, June 02, 2014 12:46 PMThere weren’t many firsts left for the Cecchini family in baseball before it accomplished one late Saturday night.
The Boston Red Sox called up third baseman Garin Cecchini and he made his major league debut in Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Garin was not in the starting line-up but entered the game in the top of the fourth inning after second baseman Dustin Pedroia was ejected. He went 1 for 2 with an RBI-double in the bottom of the seventh inning in Boston’s 4-0 win.
Cecchini, 23, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Red Sox out of Barbe and was placed on the team’s 40-man roster in spring training. Cecchini got the news and told his parents — Barbe baseball coach Glenn Cecchini and his wife Raissa — who were in Savannah, Georgia, watching youngest son Gavin play Single-A ball.
Gavin is a prospect in the New York Mets organization and was a first rounder in the 2012 draft.
“We talked to him about midnight,” Raissa said. “It’s pretty exciting and he’s excited too. Glenn and I got a 5:30 (a.m.) flight out of Savannah.”
Garin is highly rated in the Red Sox organization, participating in the 2013 Futures Game. He’s a career .307 hitter in the minors and was hitting .278 this season in Triple-A Pawtucket before Sunday’s call-up.
“He’s worked so hard to get to this point,” Glenn said. “It’s been his dream. When he was a little kid and he said he wanted to go play baseball he talked about the big leagues. Just to be here (with him) is amazing.”
Garin is the third player from Southwest Louisiana to be called up to the major leagues for a debut in the last year and the second in a month. Former Barbe player Josh Prince, Cecchini’s cousin, made his debut with the Brewers last year. Cecchini’s debut comes little over a month after Jace Peterson, a former McNeese and Hamilton Christian player, was called up and debuted for the San Diego Padres.
“You’ve got three guys in the last year and two guys in the same year,” Glenn said. “It goes to show you that it’s so much of a mental barrier.
“Hopefully, kids will see that. Garin looked up to Joe Lawrence (who was called up in 2002) and said he wanted to be the next Joe Lawrence.”
Gavin is beginning to make his mark on the Mets organization as well, showing more power and discipline at the plate this season hitting .264 with 3 homers and 19 RBIs in 48 games in Savannah.