Andy Burns was on the phone late Thursday night with a friend from high school when his call-waiting beeped.
He took a quick glance, but he didn’t recognize the Fort Myers, Florida number, so he ignored the call.
Right away, the number followed with a text.
It was Burns’ Triple-A manager telling him to stop screening his calls, he needed to talk to him immediately.
He had big news for Burns. The Rocky Mountain High School graduate was being promoted to the major leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Burns made his MLB debut with a pinch-hitting appearance Monday (he struck out) at San Francisco after not playing in a weekend series in Toronto. He spoke with the Coloradoan on Tuesday afternoon about his whirlwind weekend.
Kevin Lytle: What was your reaction to getting the call?
Andy Burns: It was just me and my wife at the apartment. I started crying and came (into the room she was in) and she started crying. It was an emotional and an exciting night, to say the least.
KL: I’m sure you’ve talked and dreamed about that moment. Did it live up to what you imagined?
AB: You always hope that it’s going to happen. I knew I had the ability to play in the big leagues and I figured at some point it could happen. But until it does there’s always that question of when. It was such an emotional two hours, just making the calls and letting everyone know.
KL: What are the moments like after making the calls, but also trying to get to Toronto to meet the team?
AB: It’s about a two-hour drive (from the Triple-A team in Buffalo to Toronto). I think I got the call about 11:30. I was probably up until 1:30 in the morning making calls and packing. It happened so fast. Went to bed at 1:30 and woke up at 6 ready to roll. I was so excited to get up there.
KL: What’s it like going into the stadium knowing you’ll be in an big league game that night?
AB: You have these visions of what it’s going to be like. You’ve heard from other people. As great as you think it’s going to be, it’s a 100 times better.
KL: How cool is it to walk into the clubhouse and see that jersey with ‘Burns’ on the back?
AB: Even you just saying that I get chills thinking about it. It’s what you’ve worked your whole life for. You play this game as a kid and it’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. To finally get a big league jersey with your name on the back and know that you’re going to be on the field that night, it’s a dream come true.
KL: What was it like when you stepped into the box for your MLB debut?
AB: Getting in there, heart is racing, just beating out of your chest. The bat felt like a whiffle ball bat. I felt like I could have hit a 150 mph fastball. You just try and slow everything down. It’s still the same game. That first at-bat, you’re looking up at the scoreboard and it says you’re making your MLB debut. It’s very surreal. I’m glad I got the first one out of the way, now I can go relax and play.
KL: I bet travel is a little easier than in the minors.
AB: You’re not cramped up on a bus and you’re not flying commercial. The luxury of flying big league charter is pretty amazing.
KL: How cool is it to see the support from back here in Fort Collins?
AB: I appreciate the support I’ve gotten from Fort Collins my whole career. It’s a special place to me and it’s where I call home. All the love and support I’ve gottenI’m extremely grateful for. It’s been a dream come true.
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Andy Burns file
Position: Utility (has played 2B, 3B, SS, LF and RF in Triple A this season)
Numbers: In 27 games in Buffalo (Triple A), the right-hander hit .250 with nine doubles, two home runs and 10 RBIs.
MLB debut: Appeared as a pinch-hitter on Monday against the San Francisco Giants, striking out.