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Mariners George Kirby fulfills his dream on a “surreal” homecoming

George Kirby’s family and friends trekked across the country to see his MLB debut last weekend.

At the start of his second big league, they only need a short drive from Rye.

Kirby will ride a mound in Citi Field for the Mariners on Saturday night against Mets in about 30 minutes from where he grew up in Westchester County.

“That’s great,” Kirby said before Mets. Lost to Mariners 2-1.. “I couldn’t ask for a better lineup. I threw it into Seattle and went home for a second start. It’s pretty surreal.”

The 24-year-old right-handed player was impressive at his first start against Sunday’s Raise, throwing six shutout innings with seven strikeouts. About 15-20 family and friends trekked to Seattle for their debut, but he expects at least 50 to be in Citi Field on Saturday.

George Kirby grew up in Westchester County.
USA TODAY Sports

“Last week my friends promised to come, and they did,” Kirby said. “It’s great that they keep up with me. Many of my peers have experienced it with them in high school baseball, and even before that, it’s just cool to see them around.”

Growing up as a Yankees fan, Kirby graduated from Rye High School in 2016. He attended the MLB Draft Conference in June and at Elon University “told almost everyone that I was going to school.” Mets eventually chose him in the 32nd round of the year, but he never really thought about signing.

However, after Kirby had a strong career at Elon, the Mariners drafted him in 20th place overall in 2019, making a quick path to the big league.

“Playing against the New York team is something I’ve always dreamed of and it’s really cool,” Kirby said.


Vanderbilt’s right-handed Kumar Rocker, who Mets drafted in 10th place overall last year, signed with the independent Frontier League Tricity Valley Cats on Friday.

Kumar Rocker
Kumar Rocker
AP

Rocker will start pitching the Valley Cats in about a month, and post Joel Sherman reports that he will do so until the July draft.


Jeff McNeil worked at bat on 14 pitches in the second inning before hitting infield hits. … Brandon Nimmo (2-3) has extended his consecutive hits to nine of his career’s best.


This weekend has been my first trip to Citi Field since the Mariners opened in 2009. Until Friday, they were the only team that hadn’t played in Citi Field yet. The team was initially set to play in the Queens in 2020, but since then the schedule has been shortened to 60 games and limited to regional opponents for a pandemic.

Mariners George Kirby fulfills his dream on a “surreal” homecoming

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