ADAMS TWP — While most families simply enjoyed the Labor Day weekend, the Bednar family lived out a dream.
Mars graduate and professional baseball pitcher David Bednar was promoted from Class AA Amarillo to the San Diego Padres and made his major league debut Sunday in San Francisco.
Major league teams were permitted to expand their rosters effective Sept. 1 and Bednar — along with fellow Amarillo hurler Javy Guerra — were summoned to the Padres.
“Around 4 or 5 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 31), we received the phone call every parent of a ballplayer dreams of getting,” Mars High School baseball coach Andy Bednar, David's father, said. “Our son is going to the big leagues.”
That meant some fast planning for the family.
Andy, his wife Sue, their daughter Danielle, David's girlfriend and members of the Pittsburgh Diamond Dawgs coaching staff booked a flight to Phoenix, Ariz., Sept. 1.
The Padres began a series there the next day against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
David's younger brother, Will, a freshman pitcher at Mississippi State, was unable to get away.
“I'm sorry we couldn't get to San Francisco,” Bednar's father said. “We just couldn't put everything together that quickly.”
Bednar worked a scoreless ninth inning Sept. 1 against the Giants, retiring the side in order. He did not register a strikeout in the Padres' 8-4 win.
Entering Monday's play, Bednar had seen action in four games for the Padres, not allowing a run in 3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
Bednar grew up pitching for the Diamond Dawgs youth organization. He was a 35th-round draft choice of San Diego in 2016 and turns 25 in October.
“He beat the odds in getting there (to the big leagues),” his father said. “He had a great stretch over the past six weeks or so. That put him on their (Padres') radar.
“This caught us by surprise. I thought he had a chance of getting called up in September, but not until after the Texas League playoffs.”
Those playoffs are being played now, but Amarillo is without its top closer. Bednar was 2-5 with a 2.95 earned run average this season in Class AA. He had 86 strikeouts and only 18 walks in 58 innings pitched.
He also recorded 14 saves in 15 chances.
MLB.com reported that Bednar is not a typical September call-up to simply add depth to the pitching staff. The web-site reported that “they want to see if he can get major league hitters out.”
Andy Bednar said David's fastball “is up to 95 to 97 miles per hour consistently and his secondary stuff is getting better and better.”
Guerra is a former shortstop who was converted to a pitcher in the Padres' system.
Sue Bednar referred to her son's promotion as “a dream come true.
“His work ethic got him there,” she added. “He's put in so much hard work. I can still remember him playing T-Ball, scooping dirt off the ground and rubbing it all over his pants so it looked like he was in a ballgame.
“This is a blessing, a true blessing.”