Eshelman seeks to capitalize on chance
Pitcher aims high during first season in big leagues
Shortly after the trade that sent him from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Orioles in early June, right-hander Tom Eshelman checked Baltimore’s July schedule.
In his third straight year with Philadelphia’s Triple-A affiliate and still unable to break through to the majors, Eshelman welcomed the opportunity the trade brought, especially the possibility that if he could be with the Orioles for the final week of July, he would get to be on the road trip of his dreams.
Eshelman’s appearance Sunday against the Toronto Blue Jays at Camden Yards will be his first outing since his return to Southern California. He pitched in the Orioles’ first of four games in Anaheim, California, against the Los Angeles Angels, minutes from where he went to college at Cal State Fullerton. That appearance lined him up to start the finale of a two-game series with the San Diego Padres, whose games he grew up watching as a native of nearby Carlsbad, California.
“I made it a goal of mine to be up at this point in time,” Eshelman said. “All the dominoes kind of fell in line for me.
“I’ve dreamt of it my whole entire life.”
Eshelman, 25, figured he had about 35 family, friends and former teammates and coaches at Angel Stadium when he entered in relief behind an opener and allowed one run in 4 1⁄3 innings July 25. The visit timed out well, with his fiancee, Nicholle, having her bridal shower the same weekend, so both of their families were present.
“It worked out perfectly,” Eshelman said.
Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook, an Angels season-ticket holder, was also among the attendees, though he avoided