Former Kentwood High star Reese McGuire smashed a double to center during his Major League Baseball debut with the Toronto Blue Jays against the Cleveland Indians.
McGuire, 23, started at catcher and batted eighth in the Sept. 6 game. McGurire doubled off reliever Dan Otero in the ninth inning. He also threw out – from his knees – Jose Ramirez trying to steal second base in the fourth. Ramirez entered the game ranked third in the American League with 29 steals and was caught for just the sixth time.
Cleveland beat Toronto 9-4.
“It’s everything I dreamed of, except the win, but I’m just happy to be here,” McGuire said to the Toronto Star newspaper.
Cleveland tossed the ball from McGuire’s double to the Toronto dugout. He told MLB.com that the ball will be displayed at his home for years to come.
His parents, Scott and Robin McGuire, traveled from Kent to Toronto to see their son’s debut.
“It was just awesome to see them here,” McGuire said to MLB.com. “Knowing that they skipped out of work and popped on a plane. They weren’t too bummed about that.”
McGuire, who bats left and throws right, is the third Kentwood graduate to play in the majors. Pitcher Austin Voth made his debut in July with the Washington Nationals. Matt Hague made his debut in 2012 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
A 2013 Kentwood graduate, McGuire was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft by the Pirates. He was the 14th overall picked and signed a contract that included a $2.3 million bonus. McGuire had received a college scholarship to play baseball at the University of San Diego, but decided to turn pro.
Pittsburgh traded McGuire to the Blue Jays in 2016. In 96 games this year with Triple-A Buffalo, McGuire batted .233 with seven home runs and 37 RBIs.
The 6-foot-1 McGuire batted .436 his senior season at Kentwood with four home runs and 20 RBIs. He was named the 2013 Gatorade Washington Player of the Year.
McGuire is the middle of three brothers who played at Kentwood. Oldest brother Cash McGuire played baseball at Seattle University. Youngest brother Shane McGuire is a sophomore first baseman at the University of San Diego where he earned Freshmen All-American honors this year from Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
In addition to the three MLB players, Kentwood has produced six other professional athletes, including Rodney Stuckey, NBA; Courtney Vandersloot and Lindsey Moore, WNBA; Ernie Conwell and Mike Karney, NFL; and Cam Weaver, Major League Soccer.