He declined $1 million and kept after his big- league dreams, tuning out anyone who was quick to doubt his potential.
Chris Colabello hit a single in the first inning Monday. He made a diving catch that turned into a double play in the second inning. He drew a walk in the third inning.
Too bad he can’t pitch, too. That would really make his fast start something to behold. Seriously, can somebody please tell the Twins pitchers that the season has started already?
If a floundering pitching staff qualifies as the biggest talker of the Twins’ first seven games, the play of Colabello deserves a 1-A designation.
Colabello made an emergency start in right field and extended his hitting streak to all seven games in an 8-3 loss to the Oakland A’s in the home opener at Target Field.
Colabello also struck out twice, the second time for the final out, on a day in which he was named co-American League Player of the Week. Apparently, the guy is human after all.
Colabello entered Monday with an AL-best 11 RBI, which also tied the Twins team record for runs batted in through six games. He has four doubles and is hitting .370.
One week in a baseball season represents the smallest of sample sizes, a pebble on a beach. Nothing that’s happened so far can be viewed in a global context. But it’s also OK to appreciate Colabello’s successful start in the context of the power of patience and perseverance.
“I believed I could play,” he said.
Colabello always clung to that belief, even as he spent seven seasons in a Canadian independent league, even as his chance at the big leagues looked like a pipe dream. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire joked that Colabello didn’t just slip through the cracks, but “he slept in the cracks.”
A path like that can crush a man’s dreams, right?
“Nope, never,” Colabello said. “I believed in my ability to play the game. In 2011, I made a decision that I didn’t need anybody to tell me that I was good. Your whole life you’re searching for approval from other people.”
Signed by the Twins at age 28, Colabello produced at Class AA and then was named International League MVP last season at Class AAA Rochester.
His first major league stint as a call-up last summer included 58 strikeouts in 181 plate appearances. But even that sobering debut did nothing to shake his belief that he belonged.
The Twins had discussions with a South Korean team that offered close to $1 million for Colabello’s rights. General manager Terry Ryan left the final decision to Colabello, who could have doubled his salary by agreeing to play in Korea, or arrive at Twins spring training with no guarantees that he would make the final roster.
Colabello bet on himself.
“It was never about money,” he said. “I played independent ball for seven years and made almost nothing.”
Yeah, but $1 million is a lot of money for a 30-year-old long shot.
“If there was a chance, I wasn’t going anywhere,” Colabello said. “[Ryan] reassured me I had a chance.”
|NY Mets||4||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Boston||4||Top 3rd Inning|
|Toronto||0||Bottom 3rd Inning|
|Oklahoma City||7:00 PM|
|Calgary||1||2nd Prd 16:04|
|St. Louis||1||2nd Prd 14:52|
|Minnesota||0||2nd Prd 16:17|
|Toronto||0||1st Prd 3:38|
|Dallas||2||1st Prd 5:44|
|NY Islanders||0||1st Prd 19:22|
|Holy Cross||27||2nd Half|
|Western Ky||44||2nd Half 15:57|
|UAB||33||2nd Half 16:01|
|Boston Univ||34||2nd Half|
|American Univ||23||2nd Half 20:00|
|Wisconsin||51||2nd Half 14:54|
|Fairfield||9||2nd Half 17:55|
|Arkansas||49||2nd Half 17:37|
|Morehead State||47||2nd Half 14:31|
|USC Upstate||27||2nd Half 20:00|
|Fla Gulf Coast||25|
|Southern Ill||25||2nd Half|
|Texas State||19||1st Half 5:15|
|SC State||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Delaware State||11||1st Half 11:23|
|Middle Tennessee||24||1st Half 1:25|
|Texas-Arlington||32||1st Half 4:09|
|Norfolk State||2||1st Half 19:21|
|NC A&T||0||1st Half 19:09|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Southern Miss||2||1st Half 19:08|
|Georgia State||7:00 PM|
|Marshall||0||1st Half 18:32|
|Rice||2||1st Half 18:38|
|Ark-Little Rock||7:15 PM|
|South Alabama||7:30 PM|
|Alabama State||7:30 PM|
|Alabama A&M||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St||7:30 PM|
|Central Arkansas||7:30 PM|
|Portland State||7:30 PM|
|Southern U||7:30 PM|
|Alcorn State||7:30 PM|
|Houston Baptist||7:30 PM|
|SE Louisiana||7:45 PM|
|Eastern Ill||8:00 PM|
|VA Commonwealth||8:00 PM|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Sacramento St||8:00 PM|
|Northwestern St||8:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin|
|North Texas||8:00 PM|
|Abilene Christian||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Wash||8:05 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton||9:00 PM|
|Long Beach State|
|UC Riverside||9:00 PM|
|(18) Texas A&M||57|
|East Tenn St||73|
|Ark-Little Rock||60||2nd Half 4:30|
|Sam Houston St||53||2nd Half 6:41|
|SE Louisiana||60||2nd Half 6:06|
|Northwestern St||32||2nd Half 12:22|
|Stephen F Austin||30|
|Alabama A&M||47||2nd Half 3:47|
|Alabama State||45||2nd Half 10:35|
|Southern U||62||2nd Half 9:05|
|Alcorn State||44||2nd Half 6:39|
|Miss Valley St||0|
|Wofford||54||2nd Half 1:26|
|Abilene Christian||34||2nd Half|
|La Salle||29||2nd Half|
|TX-San Antonio||28||2nd Half 19:25|
|Valparaiso||29||2nd Half 15:58|
|Missouri State||26||2nd Half|
|Georgia Tech||7:00 PM|
|(15) North Carolina|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Wichita State||0||1st Half 20:00|
|Bradley||0||1st Half 20:00|
|San Francisco||8:00 PM|
|Idaho State||8:00 PM|
|Weber State||8:00 PM|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach St||9:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara|
|UC Davis||9:00 PM|
|Northern Ariz||9:00 PM|
|Southern Utah||9:00 PM|
Poll: Who is doing the best job coaching a Minnesota pro sports team?