Yankees pitcher Luis Severino needed 29 pitches to record his first out in last year's AL Wild Card game. Things went a little better this time around (see the Yankees' victory above) as Severino retired the side with just 10 pitches against the Athletics in the 1st, then pitched four scoreless innings. But that's not what this Underdog feature is about.
Severino was born and raised in Sabana de la Mar in the Dominican Republic. When he was a kid, he loved two things; baseball and the New York Yankees. His dad didn't have much, but he bought Luis a Yankees cap when he was really young, and he's kept it in pristine condition until this day. You can see where this is going...
The kid was good, but like many Dominican-born players, talent gets you noticed, not signed. Around the time he was 17 years old, his fastball started touching the 90s. He attended scouting farms on a daily basis for training, learning, pitching, and just hoping to get a contract. Eventually, he reached 92. 93. Then one day, 97.
In 2011, he got an offer from the Colorado Rockies. On that same day, the Yankees called.
We love this story -- and you can infer the results of that phone call -- but it's 10 times better to hear Severino tell it himself. Check out one of our favorite stories from The Player's Tribune, My Journey to the Bronx.