On any given day, any player can receive the call that changes his or her life. Whenever the phone rings, it could be a manager, telling that athlete that their dream has come true and that they are finally going to become a Major League Baseball player.
Once the end of August rolls around, more of these calls are made than in any other month — besides April.
That’s because on Sept. 1 of every year, the MLB rosters grow from 25 players to an active 40 players. This is what makes September the month of dreams.
With the addition of 15 more spots on the roster, every team makes a bevy of player call-ups to prepare for the final month of the season. There have already been 23 players set to make their major league debuts from Sept. 1-6, with more coming each day.
In Sept. 2015, there were 47 players that made their major league debuts.
The youngest players debuting after the roster expansion were Yohander Mendez of the Texas Rangers and Yoan Moncada of the Boston Red Sox.
Moncada came up as the highest ranked prospect in baseball, according to Baseball America’s midseason prospect rankings. Moncada is originally from Cuba, but unlike many fellow Cubans, he did not have a dangerous escape from the island.
In June 2014, Moncada received permission from the Cuban government to leave the country and seek a contract to play Major League Baseball before signing in early 2015.
After his debut, Moncada spoke with Mark Chiarelli of MLB.com.
“You see the big stadium, you’re a little nervous before the game,” Moncada said. “The nerves were there, but it felt good to be out there.”
Both Mendez and Moncada made their debuts at 21 years old, with Moncada younger by about four months. The oldest player to make his debut thus far was Eddie Gamboa at 31 years old.
For Gamboa, the debut was nine years coming — he was selected in the 21st round of the 2008 MLB draft and spent the better part of eight seasons with the Baltimore Orioles organization.
In January 2016, Gamboa signed a minor league contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, eventually giving him the opportunity to make his long-awaited debut.
Gamboa spoke with Sam Blum of MLB.com after his first game.
“It was pretty nerve-wracking out there,” Gamboa said. “Happy to get one out and hopefully, that’s going to be one of many.”
These few are not the only players to begin their careers this month and definitely aren’t the only ones this season.
The majority either come up earlier in the season when their team feels the can be productive, or begin in August at the latest, so they can be eligible to participate in the playoffs.
Both the Red Sox and the New York Yankees called up their best minor league hitters earlier in the season with Andrew Benintendi and Aaron Judge, respectively.
September is the best time of the year for players to get a taste of the Big Leagues. It is the month when enough veterans sit down that a slew of young players get to begin their careers.