Playing for seven different teams in his 14-year career, one would think Rajai Davis has seen it all in the baseball world. But debuting for his eighth team in the Mets on Wednesday night was definitely one he will never forget.
Davis has been playing for the Triple-A Syracuse Mets, and he woke up this morning in Allentown, PA like any other day. He arrived at Coca-Cola Park, and began warming up to face the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs -- the Phillies' Triple-A affiliate. But while taking his BP, Davis was told that he was actually getting called up.
The 38-year-old thought it was a joke, but it turns out Brandon Nimmo was put on the IL after an MRI revealed inflammation has been causing his neck stiffness. And the news came less than two hours before first pitch at Citi Field. So Davis had to pack his things as fast as possible, and hightail it to Flushing to join the big club.
But as one would expect on short notice, he was a tad late.
"About 5 o'clock," Davis said when asked what time he left Pennsylvania. "I think you guys were starting at 7, got here around [the] third inning."
Rajai Davis on his long Uber ride from Lehigh Valley, PA to Flushing 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UPUF42ySRg- SNY (@SNYtv) May 23, 2019
It was Davis' Uber driver, Jason, that took him the hour and 53 minutes to Citi Field. And while Davis said he's not footing that lofty bill, he did enjoy his ride up to the Majors.
"Me and Jason, we got to know each other," Davis said laughing.
Here is Uber driver Jason, the true MVP of tonight's game 👏- SNY (@SNYtv) May 23, 2019
(h/t Jason -- Facebook) pic.twitter.com/zSirUfjeDl
More scrambling happened once Davis arrived at Citi Field. Manager Mickey Callaway explained how he had no clue where to go to get into the clubhouse, and he was already late with the game underway.
"I think I saw him in the fifth or the sixth for the first time," Callaway, who knows Davis from his time with the Indians back in 2016, said. "He got here about the third. ...Came inside, didn't know where the clubhouse was, how to get back in. [He] had to ask some people which way do I go to get back in the clubhouse."
Once he got situated in his new threads and joined the team in the dugout, Callaway wasn't going to let the long trip be wasted. He sent Davis out to face Sean Doolittle with two runners on and the Mets having already taken a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning.
With a 2-2 count, Doolittle threw a 94 mph fastball middle away and Davis, choking up on his bat, connected. It landed over the left field fence for his first hit as a Met.
"I'm just really grateful and thankful for the opportunity that the Mets' front office gave me," Davis said. "I appreciate it and trying to make an impact right away and I was fortunate enough to be put in that position to make something happen."
To cap off his "whirlwind" night, as Callaway described it, Mets fans cheered Davis for a curtain call. It was only fitting.
"Thank you, New York. Love you," Davis said.