Back before the baseball season began, Jimi Easterling, the senior quarterback for the Bryant Hornets football team last fall, bought tickets to a Chicago Cubs game at venerable old Wrigley Field for Thursday, July 1. The visiting team was set to be the Cincinnati Reds.
No doubt, Easterling was hoping that Bryant's Travis Wood might be a member of the Reds' pitching staff by this time in the season. Wood nearly made the opening day rotation as the No. 5 starter but was beaten out by Mike Leake, a rookie sensation thus far for the team. Wood was optioned to the Louisville Bats and has been pitching there so far this season. And lately, he's been the best pitcher in the Reds' Minor League system.
The Reds have announced that Wood has been promoted and will make his Major League debut when he starts — wouldn't you know? — the Thursday, July 1, contest at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. He'll be opposed by Cubs' ace Carlos Silva (8-2, 3.01 ERA).
Needless to say, Easterling is plenty excited about this incredible coincidence. But no more thrilled than Travis Wood's family, including his parents Jay and Dena, who left on Wednesday to be there for the game which is set to start at 1:20 p.m., CDT.
Travis graduated from Bryant High School in 2005 and was drafted by the Reds in the second round of the June 2005 MLB amateur draft.