BOSTON (CBS) — Milton native Alex Hassan lived one of his lifelong dreams over the weekend, playing for his hometown Boston Red Sox.
Hassan, a 20th-round pick by the Red Sox in 2009 after solid careers at BC High and Duke University, was called up Friday night when first baseman Ryan Lavarnway was placed on the disabled list. He watched Boston take the first two of a three-game set against the Tampa Bay Rays, but made his major league debut in Sunday’s 4-0 victory.
“It was a lot of fun,” the 26-year-old said from the Boston locker room Sunday afternoon. “I thought the team played really well and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Hassan hit sixth and played right field on Sunday, going 1-for-3 at the plate and collecting his first major league hit on a single to center in the fourth inning. He would come around to score his first major league run on a Brock Holt RBI-double four batters later.
He said there were some nerves in his first few at-bats, but once Hassan got on base in the fourth inning the focus shifted to crossing the plate and giving his team the lead.
“It was a relief to get that first hit,” he said, “but then the focus was on scoring a run.”
Hassan plans on giving his first-hit baseball to his parents, who were in the stands on Sunday. With the hit, Hassan became the first Massachusetts native to record a hit for the Red Sox since Mark Bellhorn did it in 2005, and he’s the first Massachusetts native to play in the outfield for the team since Billy Conigliaro in 1971.
It’s unclear how long Hassan will remain in the big leagues, with Daniel Nava reportedly on his way back up for Boston’s next series against the Cleveland Indians. Hassan struggled in Pawtucket this season, batting just .217 with a home run in 45 games.
But for the Milton native who grew up watching the likes of Nomar Garciaparra, Mo Vaughn and Mike Greenwell, he got one big step out of the way in what he hopes is a long major league career.
“This was a dream of mine and it’s pretty crazy how it all worked out,” said Hassan.
Hassan was a four-year letter winner at Boston College High, and became just the third BC High graduate to play in a major league game.
MORE SPORTS COVERAGE FROM CBS BOSTON