BALTIMORE, Md. – Jimmy Yacabonis, one of three Norfolk Tides players selected to participate in Wednesday’s Triple-A All-Star Game, is a no-show in Columbus, Ohio – site of the game, 48 hours prior to first pitch. But, Yacabonis’s has not only an excused absence for a delayed arrival in Ohio – it’s an opportunity he’ll never forget.
The Baltimore Orioles, Major League Baseball parent club of the Tides, hosted the New York Yankees in a double-header Monday. MLB rules allow each team to add one player to its roster for a double-header. Not only was Yacabonis recalled by Baltimore to serve as the O’s 26th man, he was the starting pitcher vs. New York in game one of the twin bill.
It was the first career start for Yacabonis, a New Jersey native, vs. the Yankees – the team for which he grew up cheering. In fact, back in 2012, Yacabonis posted a picture to his Twitter account of CC Sabathia’s Yankees locker at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. Sabathia was the Yankees starting pitcher opposite Yacabonis in today’s game.
Yacabonis, a 13th round draft pick of the Orioles in 2013, did not factor in the decision Monday as the Orioles snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory vs New York. In his second career MLB start, Yacabonis pitched five innings, allowing six hits, three earned runs and striking out five. Among his five strikeouts: reigning American League home run champion and Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge. Yacabonis K’d Judge looking with two runners on base in the top of the fifth inning – Jimmy’s final frame.
A Tides official could not confirm whether or not Yacabonis planned to fly to Columbus to attend Tuesday and Wednesday’s All-Star festivities. It’s the second-straight year Yacabonis has been selected to the Triple-A All-Star game.