Roseville native Andrew Susac called up to the San Francisco GiantsBy: Ike Dodson■Roseville Press Tribune Sports Editor
Roseville native Andrew Susac was airborne the morning of Saturday, July 26.
The former Woodcreek Little League baseball player was flying from El Paso, Texas, to San Francisco for the biggest moment of his professional career.
Susac was called up late on July 25 to join the San Francisco Giants, marking his first designation to the Major League Baseball level.
He wore the uniform No. 34 in a showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. His first career at-bat came against ace Clayton Kershaw, grounding out to third base. Susac's first Major League start came just three days later during a 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh. He batted 0 for 2 with a walk.
Nick Susac, Andrew’s father, is a Roseville youth baseball coach who led Andrew’s younger brother, Daniel, to prolific postseason runs with Woodcreek Little League in recent years.
Nick said he got the big news late at night on July 25.
“I went to bed and got a call around 11:45 p.m.,” Nick said. “When I saw his name on the phone, I said, ‘He must have been called up.’”
The Giants asked Andrew to fill a void left by injured catcher Hector Sanchez. According to the team website, Sanchez is recovering from a mild concussion after he took a ball off his mask during San Francisco’s 8-1 loss to the Dodgers Friday.
“He's out for a little while,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, according to sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com.
Andrew was drafted by the Giants in the second round of Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft in 2011.
He hit .268 in 63 games (213 at-bats) for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies this season, belting nine doubles, 10 home runs and 32 RBI. He was selected to the Pacific Coast League all-star team. Andrew was in El Paso for a four-game series against the Chihuahuas, but only finished the first game (batting 2 for 5 with an RBI) before being called up.
The 6-foot-1, 215-pound prospect is a 2009 Jesuit High graduate. He was also drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 16th round of the 2009 draft but elected to embark on a successful career with Oregon State University instead of signing with the MLB club.
Andrew was a member of the 2004 Junior all-stars from Woodcreek Little League that won its way to the Western Regionals bracket of the Little League World Series.
The Susac family was hunting for tickets to Saturday’s sold-out game against the Dodgers.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Nick said. “I’ve coached a lot of kids and you want them all to do well, but when it’s your own kid … it’s just … wow, just surreal.
“That’s the best way to put it.”
The Susacs' ties to baseball can be drawn to a pivotal moment in Nick’s childhood, when, like a scene from the movie “Sandlot,” a neighborhood child brought him a mitt and invitation to play.
“I came from an immigrant family and didn’t have a lot,” Nick said. “This kid lived down the street from me and he just handed me a mitt. If it had been a basketball than I probably would have liked basketball.
“The next thing you know, my uncle and his friends started listening to Giants games on the radio.”
Nick’s father, Andrew’s grandfather, immigrated to the United States from what’s now Croatia.
The family has come a long way.
“It’s been a long journey for the family, from World War II and communism to where where are now,” Nick said. “My folks came from no water and no electricity and now we are at AT&T Park.
“That’s the way life goes sometimes.”
Email Ike Dodson at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @Ike_Dodson.