Los Angeles Angels hurler Mike Mayers had a notable beginning to his Major League career.
It was notable for how challenging it was.
Mayers was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. He had a progressing minor league career before being called up to the big club in 2016. The Cardinals called Mayers up because they needed a fill-in start in a second game of a double header against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While growing up in Grove City, Ohio, Mayers dreamed of his Major League debut. No doubt he imagined winning the game while striking out the side with the bases loaded. His teammates surrounding him and congratulating him on a job well done.
It didn’t go that way.
The Dodger hitters treated Mayers rudely. They torched him for 9 runs in 1 1/3 innings, resulting in an ugly 60.75 ERA.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mayers “became the first major leaguer to surrender at least nine runs while advancing through fewer than two innings in his debut.”
Mayers did rebound nicely. He’s been a consistent contributor out of the bullpen for several seasons. He had a solid debut after the LA Angels acquired him last season and has stuck with the club this season.
It took a lot of character to rise above a performance as challenging as Mayers’ big league debut.
Mark Mayers, Mike’s father provided a fine example for his son.
According to their hometown newspaper, The Columbus Dispatch, Mark Mayers helped network and coordinate fundraising to install artificial turf to Mike Mayers’ alma mater, Grove City High School’s baseball fields.
Mark Mayers didn’t lead and contribute to the project for recognition. He did it for the health and concern for the students and the community.
As a result of his honorable actions, Mark Mayers was awarded the OHSAA Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award. The award is presented by schools involved with the OHSAA. (The OHSAA stands for the Ohio High School Athletics Association.)
The Columbus Dispatch explains the award here:
"“Criteria include being a person within the school or community who supports and demonstrates positive values, contributing to the well-being of students and being a positive role model.”"
The combination of being humble, being dedicated and persevering are attributes he passed to his son. It’s a reason why Mike Mayers is now a member of the Angels pitching staff.