Atlanta, GA – Infielder Brandon Snyder, 29, was called up by the Atlanta Braves on Thursday from Triple-A Gwinnett, culminating Snyder’s long road back to the big leagues.
In his first Major League Baseball game since 2013, Snyder struck out in a pinch-hit at-bat, but did not let it dampen his spirits.
“I’m just really happy to have the opportunity as the last couple of years have been really tough,” Snyder explained. “God has been really good with putting me in this position.”
Before Thursday, Snyder hadn’t played a Major League Baseball game since 2013, when he hit .180 in 52 plate appearances for the Boston Red Sox. Snyder played for Boston’s Triple-A affiliate, the Pawtucket Red Sox, in 2014 but did not have his contract renewed in the off-season, setting in motion Snyder’s tortuous journey back to Major League Baseball.
Snyder with the Boston Red Sox in 2013, his last season in Major League Baseball until this past Thursday. (Photo Credit: Keith Allison)
After tirelessly searching in the 2014-2015 off-season for an opportunity in affiliated professional baseball, Snyder eventually opted to sign with the independent Southern Maryland Blue Crabs of the Atlantic Professional Baseball League in March 2015.
Snyder’s brief stay in Waldorf ended April 27, 2015 when he signed with the Bowie Baysox, the Double-A affiliate for the Baltimore Orioles, but his tenure in Southern Maryland was one Snyder will never forget because it serves as a reminder of how far he has come.
“After having injuries and going to independent ball and everything else, you start to feel like it would never happen again,” Snyder said in reference to reaching Major League Baseball again.
While Southern Maryland provided Snyder a platform to reach affiliated professional baseball, Snyder still had to perform well in Double or Triple-A just to be given another shot at the show. In 114 at-bats in Triple-A Gwinnett this season, Snyder did just that, hitting .325 with two home runs and four stolen bases.
After arriving in Atlanta Thursday, Snyder couldn’t help but notice how many of his new Braves teammates weren’t so new to him.
“Just looking and seeing everybody that is in here,” Snyder explained, “I pretty much played with them with other teams in the big leagues or in Gwinnett.”
Snyder hopes to play with them for a long time in Atlanta. The odds are stacked against him. But if there’s anyone who’s demonstrated an ability to defy the odds, it is Brandon Snyder.