The odds have been stacked against Kyle Hart ever seeing this day since 2014.
On Thursday, the former IU ace will defy those odds.
Hart will take the mound for the Boston Red Sox this afternoon, making his first Major League Baseball appearance. In the process he will become the 31st former IU baseball player to make an appearance in the big leagues.
The 6-foot-5 lefthander has toiled away in the minor leagues after being selected by Boston in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB draft.
Hart started out on rock bottom in the minors, in the rookie leagues. But starting out on bottom was something that Hart did during his IU career too.
After two strong seasons as an underclassman in 2012 and 2013, Hart suffered an injury to his throwing arm that required the dreaded Tommy John surgery.
Hart worked his way back in 2015, and he led the Big 10 Conference in wins with 10 in 2016.
Over a five-year career at IU Hart had a 2.89 ERA. The southpaw left Indiana with the second-most victories (31) in program history.
Now 27, Hart has been on five different minor league teams in five different leagues since he was drafted.
Hart was in 2020 big-league spring training and summer training camp with the Red Sox but was cut on both occasions.
His sixth stop was the one he has been waiting for. And the one that seemed so unlikely at several points in his career.
“I finally knew, ‘Okay, this is really happening. I’m going to have a chance to make an impact with the Boston Red Sox,‘” Hart said on The Fenway Rundown podcast. “I don’t know if it has fully set in yet but yesterday was as special as it could be given the circumstances in the world that we’re all kind of operating in right now.”
Hart will take the mound at Fenway Park in Boston at 4:30 p.m. ET when the Red Sox face the Tampa Rays.
A FORMER TEAMMATE AND GOOD FRIEND IN THE OPPOSING DUGOUT
At 4:30 we’re competitors but couldn’t be more excited for @hart_attack_kid to make his MLB debut. Kyle has worked hard for everything he’s achieved and today is going to be a lot of fun
— Aaron Slegers (@aslegers) August 13, 2020
Hart isn’t the only former Hoosier to get called up to the big leagues this week.
Aaron Slegers isn’t new to the MLB, but he got his first appearance of 2020 with Tampa on Wednesday.
A good friend and former teammate of Hart, Slegers had a tough outing in Boston, giving up 7 hits and 5 earned runs.
In 32 career major-league innings, Slegers owned a 5.63 ERA prior to Wednesday night.
On Thursday Slegers will get to watch Hart take the mound as he waits for another shot coming out of the Rays’ bullpen.
Hart and Slegers join four other Hoosiers in the big-leagues in 2020. Hart’s former roommate Kyle Schwarber is with the Cubs along with Josh Phegley. Alex Dickerson and Caleb Baragar are with the Giants. Baragar also made his MLB debut this season.
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