You know how to tell you’re having a special night in your major-league debut?
When you strike out with the bases loaded and receive a standing ovation.
It was that kind of night for Texas Rangers standout prospect Joey Gallo Tuesday against the Chicago White Sox.
Gallo, who was called up from Double-A Frisco to replace an injured Adrian Beltre, had a memorable debut as he singled, doubled and hit a mammoth homer in a 15-2 romp over the White Sox.
Gallo, 21, finished his debut with four RBI, the most-ever for a Texas player in their big-league debut. He had a two-run single in his first at-bat, a 418-foot homer in his second one and then just missed a homer in at-bat No. 3.
He received a standing ovation before his first at-bat, a curtain call after his homer and another standing ovation after going down swinging with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. He did it all with his dad Tony and his mom Laura in the stands after flying in from Las Vegas Monday night.
It’ll be a night Gallo will never forget as Gallo finished 3 for 4 with three runs scored and a walk for good measure.
"It’s crazy," said Gallo, who had the balls from each of his three hits in his locker. "I didn’t expect it to be that good of a night so it still hasn’t hit me yet. It was definitely a lot of fun, a lot of adrenalin. I’m glad it’s out of the way."
Gallo’s debut set the bar remarkably high on a night the Rangers set a season high for runs and hits. Eight Texas players had at least two hits. Carlos Corporan set a career high with five RBI. Colby Lewis rebounded from a rough start in Cleveland with seven solid innings.
But Tuesday was all about Gallo, who matched the franchise mark by becoming just the fourth player to have three hits in his big-league debut. His four RBI also set a franchise record for most in a debut.
And while there were plenty of other standouts they know who the star was Tuesday.
"Awesome night," Corporan said of Gallo’s performance. "That easy? For real. It’s that easy. We lost one of the best players (Beltre) and we bring that guy from Double A and perform the way he did was freaking awesome."
It started in the first inning when Gallo lined a two-run single past Chicago first baseman Adam LaRoche to put the Rangers up 2-0. He added his legendary power status in the third inning when he ripped the first pitch he saw from Jeff Samardzija 418 feet into the upper home run porch in right.
He thought he had another homer in the sixth when he lined a double off the top of the wall in right center. Public-address announcer Chuck Morgan briefly played the theme music from "The Natural," which signifies a homer at Globe Life Park. Gallo let up a little when he heard the music but was able to beat the throw into second. Of course on a night like Tuesday he wasn’t going to be out.
"I think just the experience, having my parents there was so special," Gallo said. "Having them come on the field after, and for us to win like that it was amazing. Everyone was hitting. It wasn’t just me. It was the whole team. Our pitchers did great. Our defense was great. It was a great overall game."
Especially for Gallo, despite his desire to deflect the praise.
"This is why I get to do what I do and why I love what I do," manager Jeff Banister said. "All the hype, incredible evening for a young m an. Really rarely do they come up and meet all the expectations in their first night. All you had to do was listen to the crowd; by the third time he came up to the plate and they let you know how his night was doing. Fun to watch. Incredible."