It was not a Walter Mitty moment for Lance Broadway on Monday afternoon when he was summoned to the office of the manager of the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
Instead, it was a very real answer to prayer as Broadway was informed that he needed to pack his bags — he was on his way to join the White Sox in Detroit.
“It took a moment to sink in,” Broadway said in a telephone interview Thursday. “It was what I have been working for — for a long time.”
The lanky 24-year-old now calls Mansfield home, but Broadway is a 2002 graduate of Waxahachie High School, where he pitched one season for the Tribe. He went on to star at Dallas Baptist University and then at Texas Christian University, where he gained national attention with a 15-1 record and a 1.62 ERA.
He was a first round draft pick for the American League Chicago franchise and worked his way to Major League Baseball from Class A Winston-Salem to AA Birmingham and then AAA Charlotte in 2-1/2 seasons.
“Walking out onto the field for the first time (in Detroit), even without a crowd, was overwhelming and a bit surreal,” Broadway said. “But, you know, it was amazing at how quickly the game of baseball took over (my mind). It was easy to get my head into the game. Easy, because I knew that I would not actually be getting into the game.”
Broadway describes the experience of the last three days as “simply amazing.”
“I am so excited, really excited. Walking out onto the field for the first time was like a dream,” he said. “This has been my dream for a long time, but now I am living it — not dreaming.”
Reality will set in the first time Broadway is called to the mound, probably in relief as the White Sox intend to use him and Heath Phillips, also called up from Charlotte on Monday, in the bull pen. But, according to a team press release Tuesday, Broadway will be given at least one start during September.
“The first time out I hope I can throw like I want to,” Broadway said. “I know it will be an amazing feeling (to be on the hill in a MLB game).”
Broadway indicated that in addition to four-seam fastball, curve and change-up, he has been working on additional pitches to improve his chances of being a success as a major league pitcher.
“I have been working on a two-seam sinker. I had trouble getting it in the strike zone at the beginning, so my walk count is higher than normal. Now, I feel pretty good using the pitch,” he said. “I have also been working on a cutter, but I’m just not picking it up very well. I will work on it in the off-season and in the spring.”
For now Broadway said he finds each trip to the ballpark exciting in itself, but the big bang he said will be when he walks to the mound for the first time and takes the ball from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
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