After a long, winding minor league journey, former Tiger Chris Okey got the call.
After 383 minor league games and 1,359 plate appearances for Clemson catcher Chris Okey has fulfilled a lifetime dream of making it to Major League Baseball as a member of the Cincinnati Reds.
Okey was emotional when he received the news.
Okey was told he was being called up after batting practice at Triple-A Louisville on Thursday in what was described as an emotional scene. It’s the strange part of the baseball world, that while the Reds’ clubhouse was filled with hushed tones and long faces, 99 miles down the road at Louisville Slugger Field, there were smiles, hugs and cheering as Okey’s big-league dreams came true.
The move was confirmed Friday by the Reds.
Reds catcher Tyler Stephenson was injured Thursday, when his right thumb was fractured by a foul tip.
With blood coming from his thumb, Stephenson walked off the field with head athletic trainer Sean McQueeney and straight into the clubhouse. Backup catcher Aramis Garcia took over behind the plate.
Stephenson’s hand and thumb was placed in a cast.
Stephenson is expected to miss four to six weeks, leaving an opening on the roster for a replacement catcher and Okey was listed as one of the candidates.
Soon after The Athletic reporter for the Reds, tweeted that the team was expected to recall Okey.
Okey played 186 games at Clemson from 2014-2016, batting .301 with 31 home runs and 172 RBI, before being drafted by the Reds in the second round (43rd overall) in the 2016 draft.
Friday morning it was confirmed.
Chris Okey becomes eighth former Tiger to see an MLB field in 2022
Okey is the eighth former Clemson player to play in the Majors this season, along with Jeremy Beasley, Seth Beer, Steven Duggar, Dominic Leone, Brad Miller, Spencer Strider and Eli White.