There have been plenty of interesting call-up stories over the years – remember when former outfielder Lou Montanez initially missed his big phone call because he was in a salsa dance class and didn’t have his phone with him – but Chris Dickerson’s ranks up there for franticness.
The outfielder, who had spent a chunk of the season with the Orioles, was designated for assignment in July and ended up back at Triple-A Norfolk, where he finished the season. On Tuesday, he had come back to Baltimore to clean out his apartment and wait for a potential call back to the Orioles.
When there was nothing as of Thursday, Dickerson packed up his apartment and sent most everything he had to his home in California. He had decided he wasn’t going to Sarasota, Fla., to work out and wait for a call that might not come – like some other players have.
On Friday morning, Dickerson ran some more errands on his bicycle and then went to the airport to board a flight to Los Angeles with a stop-over in Charlotte. When his plane landed there, he turned on his phone and had a message from Orioles manager Buck Showalter saying he was needed in Baltimore.
“Called him on the plane. We were still taxiing. And he told me to come back,” Dickerson said of Showalter. “Got off the plane, told them I had a minor emergency and needed my bags off the plane. That didn’t happen, so my bags and all my luggage is at home [in California].”
Dickerson arrived in Baltimore as Friday’s game was going on. Although he had a uniform waiting for him, he had to borrow one of Nick Markakis’ gloves and a pair of Bud Norris’ cleats.
“They were a bit small, started to get a little bit sore,” Dickerson said of Norris’ shoes.
Dickerson had been through something like this before, in 2011 when he was traded to the New York Yankees and had no equipment with him. He said that was like a yard sale, trying to find something that fit. And this time it wasn’t much different.
“So I got here, and again went through the yard sale. Snooped through everybody’s locker looking for stuff I could wear,” Dickerson joked.
As soon as he got to the dugout, he was on the move again.
“I am not exaggerating. I literally put on my uniform, grabbed spikes and a pair of batting gloves that I left behind and went straight into left field. I jogged in place for a little bit. Hadn’t taken a swing, hadn’t thrown a ball in four days.”
He entered as a defensive replacement and, as you might expect, the first batter hit a fly ball at Dickerson, which he caught.
“It’s good to be back, but of course the baseball gods and baseball law says the first ball is going straight to you as soon as you get into the game,” Dickerson said. “It’s probably been the most eventful 24 hours that I’ve had in my adult life.”
There’s really nothing left at Dickerson’s apartment in Baltimore and all his clothes are now in LA. He does have one thing, though: His bicycle, which he didn’t have time to ship to California.
“I will have my usual transportation [Saturday],” Dickerson said. “So if you see me in the streets, honk your horn.”