ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Trevor Story grew up about 15 minutes from the Texas Rangers’ ballpark, where he got to see the home team he cheered for play in the World Series.
Now the Rockies’ shortstop from Irving has finally played in that stadium as a big leaguer.
“This was my Yankee Stadium growing up,” Story said Friday before Colorado opened an interleague series in Texas with a 9-5 victory. “I always was in the stands watching from afar.”
Story wasn’t able to play the last time the Rockies were at Texas two years ago. He hit an NL rookie shortstop-record 27 homers in 97 games that year, but missed the games he had long circled on his calendar because of a season-ending thumb injury suffered about two weeks earlier.
“I circled it again for this year,” Story said. “It was tough honestly … obviously dying to be out there.”
Story increased his National League-leading RBI total to 52. He had an RBI single and stolen base in Colorado’s six-run second inning, and hit a run-scoring double in the seventh.
It was the sixth time in seven games he had multiple hits, and his only hit Wednesday at Philadelphia was an RBI double with two outs in the seventh inning to break up Vince Velasquez’s no-hitter.
Rockies manager Bud Black said Story is playing at an All-Star level.
“He’s leading the league in RBIs, he’s playing great defense. The average is starting to climb,” Black said. “Trevor Story’s name is getting out there now amongst baseball people, in the circle, behind the cage, conversations with other managers and coaches that I have, he’s becoming a guy that people are noticing. It’s deserving.”
Story, whose favorite Rangers were Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez and franchise hits leader Michael Young, said all he ever wanted to do was be a baseball player.
“If I couldn’t be a baseball player, I wanted to be a fireman like my dad,” the 25-year-old said.
About 200 of Story’s family and friends were expected this weekend at the ballpark, including his parents and some of his fiancé’s family. His dad just this year retired after 37 years as a firefighter in Irving. His coach and former teammates from Irving High School, before the Rockies picked him 45th overall in the 2011 draft, were also there.
Their local favorite, who still lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the offseason, came home during one of the best stretches of his young big league career.
“Yeah, it definitely helps,” Story said. “But this game, you never know what’s going to happen. … It’s nice to be doing well. I don’t try to think too much in it, just play it as another game.”
And, at last, a series at home.
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
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