The emotions were flying for Dane Sardinha. So much so that the 31-year-old journeyman didn’t even have time to choreograph a tribute to his No. 1 fan.
Sardinha had wanted to touch home plate and point to the sky in honor of his grandmother, but it slipped his mind in the heat of the moment.
“Hopefully, there’s another one coming,” the backup catcher said.
Sardinha, called up due to an injury to Carlos Ruiz, made his first start since June 10, 2009. In the sixth inning, he hit his first major league home run since being drafted in 2000.
“I had a 2-0 count,” Sardinha said. “I thought he might throw one over, and I got lucky.”
How did his teammates reward him? With the silent treatment, of course. Even fellow Hawaiian and team chatterbox Shane Victorino zipped his lip.
“No, nothing from Shane yet,” Sardinha said. “I kind of just ran down the stairs and then they all came out. I think they all knew it was my first one. It was a bonding experience.”
Sardinha said a team official brought the game ball down to him during the rain delay. While he’s not sure where to display it just yet, the moment will replay in his mind for a long time.
“I’ve struggled every time I’ve been up [in the majors],” Sardinha said. “This year has been better for me offensively down in the minor leagues. If there was a year for it to come, this was it.”