Roberts' ‘indescribable' MLB debut dream come true


Ethan Roberts had a hint of a smile on his face ahead of a 3-2 pitch to Brewers infielder Keston Hiura.

“I’m just excited in that moment because I know these hitters are really good, and I want to try and level up just like them,” Roberts said. “That put everything into perspective for me, that at-bat."

Roberts walked Hiura during a nine-pitch plate appearance, but that smile seemed to never leave his face Saturday. He made his MLB debut and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the Cubs’ 9-0 win over the Brewers.

Roberts said he normally says a prayer when he reaches the mound. But before doing that Saturday, he took a minute to look around Wrigley Field and soak in the atmosphere.

“Just to see the fans, hear them,” he said. “When they announced my name, everyone was cheering my name, it was indescribable. 

“It was everything I ever dreamed it would be.”

The Cubs drafted Roberts in the fourth round in 2018 out of Tennessee Tech. The 24-year-old from Sparta, Tenn. estimated he had 25 friends and family members in attendance Saturday.

That includes his wife, whom Roberts has been with for nine years.

“We’ve been thinking about this for a long time,” he said.

Roberts called Opening Day “very important” for him, even though he didn’t pitch. It offered him a chance to experience a big-league atmosphere and prepare for his debut.

He hit Christian Yelich to start the ninth before getting a double play. After walking Hiura, he got Tyrone Taylor to ground out to secure the win.

Justin Steele watched Roberts’ debut from the clubhouse after his start Saturday.

“I had chills watching him pitch. He's such a good kid,” Steele said. “I love him to death. As soon as he came in from the win, they were coming in the locker room, I gave him a big hug. 

“That was really special to watch.”

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