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  • Colabello Homers on Mom's Birthday, the Story Continues

    The Chris Colabello Story continues. Since signing with the Twins before the 2012 season, his story has continued to get better and better. Wednesday night was another highlight in what has been a remarkable start to his career and specifically to his 2014 season. On Wednesday, he gave his Mom a great birthday present and then made his teammates happy again with a huge extra inning hit.

    Maybe I am a horrible child! I think the best gift I ever gave my mom for her birthday was, well, maybe when I drew/colored her a picture or something when I was really young. Chris Colabello gave his mom a really cool birthday present last night.

    With his mother, Silvana, chatting on FSN with Marney Gellner, she saw her son tie the game at two with a two-run home run. In her excitement, you can hear her say, "Another present!"

    What the remarkable video right here:

    Move ahead to the 12th inning, and Chris Colabello gave his teammates a great gift. With Joe Mauer on third base and Trevor Plouffe on second base, Rays' manager Joe Maddon decided to pitch to Colabello. Bad guy Josh Lueke got ahead of Colabello 0-2, but he battled and eventually hit a single up the middle to score two more runs and give the Twins a 6-4 lead. After Glen Perkins shut the door in the bottom of the inning, the Twins got back to .500 at 10-10.

    The Chris Colabello story just continues to get better and better. When the Twins signed him before spring training 2012, he was hoping to do enough just to make an affiliated team's roster for the first time after seven years of independent ball.

    After a solid season in New Britain, Colabello got an invitation to Twins' big league spring training in 2013. He was able to leave camp to play for the surprising Team Italy in the WBC.

    He went to AAA Rochester, but on May 22, 2013, he made his major league debut.

    His story could have ended there and it could have been a story meant for Disney. But the story continued into the 2014 season.

    He had a very interesting offseason. Though few believed that he would make the Twins' 25 man roster for Opening Day, some thought he could be a candidate to be DFA'd during the offseason. He wasn't. However, a team from South Korea came to the Twins and offered Colabello and the Twins a lot of money for him to play there.

    He wasn't guaranteed a spot on the Twins major league roster, but he chose again to believe in himself and his dreams and his goals. No one would have blamed him for taking the money in Korea. He would have made almost as much in one season there as he would make in two full seasons in the big leagues.

    As he told me at spring training, "I played baseball, sometimes literally for nothing for a long time, so it's not and has never been about the money."

    In a Twins Daily Q&A with Colabello from before the 2013 season, he talked about what he learned about the game while playing in the independent leagues, "Independent baseball taught me a lot about myself. I was blessed to play for Rich Gedman who taught me so much about the game, and most importantly that as long as I had a uniform on, that there was a chance someone would see me."

    He believed in himself, and he got the job done this spring, earning a spot on his first Opening Day roster. Even then, he wasn't necessarily a starter. He was the team's DH on Opening Day largely because the Twins faced lefty Chris Sale. He has produced, and that is why he remains in the every-day lineup, in the middle of the order.

    Not only is he hitting in the middle of the order, he is becoming quite the run producer. Yes, RBI is a stat that a player accumulates largely due to what hitters in front of him do. However, through the first three-and-a-half weeks of the season, he has come through and driven in runs whenever the opportunity has presented itself.

    When Colabello singled in Mauer and Plouffe in the 12th inning, it gave him 26 RBI in April. That number ties Kirby Puckett for the record for most RBI in April, and there are still six games to play.

    Again, two years ago at this time, Colabello was making his affiliated baseball debut in New Britain, and today, his name is in the same sentence as Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.

    If there is a story in baseball in the past several years that is better than Chris Colabello, please let me know what it is.

    Colabello has his head on his shoulders. He speaks about the process as much as the results. He understands well that there are things that he can control and other things that he can't.

    From the January 2013 interview, Colabello spoke of this. "My biggest goal is to be able to adjust and be in the moment to the best of my ability. Hitting is so much more about process than it is about results. If you can make a commitment to taking care of the process, the results will take care of themselves."

    It's that thinking that will continue to give Colabello an opportunity. He's earned more time with an incredible April. If the month were to end right now, Colabello would have to be the favorite for player of the month.

    Helping his team win and giving his Mom great birthday presents, Colabello is getting the job done, and it's really fun to watch.

    Also, since the Twins beat the Rays on Silvana Colabello's birthday, today (Thursday) you can get 50% off a L or XL pizza from PapaJohns.com if you use the 'TWINSWIN' promo code.
    Comments 15 Comments
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      I love Colabello. I watch because of him, and I pull for him. It is almost fanatical. I couldn't care less if Mauer goes 0 for 5 with 5k's as long as Colabello gets hits. Side note...has Mauer ever done that before? I doubt it. By the way...I LOVE CROWN ROYAL. That point aside, what are his chances of getting national recognition of player of the month?
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      I seriously hope someone buys movie rights to his story and puts together one of the best baseball stories of all time.

      Perseverance. Hard work. Determination. Sacrifice. The plot is golden!
    1. TKGuy's Avatar
      TKGuy -
      Clutch hit after clutch hit. Sure he does K a bunch, but I will take that with his production.

      That video with his mother is certainly classic! Couldn't be happier for him. He has been the best cleanup hitter we have had since Mornie before the concussion.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Someone start writing the movie! It's crazy that right before the pitch Marney Gellner says, "Maybe he will give you a present here" and he proceeds to hit a home run. The story just gets better and better.

      Side note: Is the Papa John's deal only for Minnesota residents?
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Who would play Colabello in his movie?

      Maybe Chris Evans? Formerly Captain America, shares a first name and both are even from Mass...
      Ryan Reynolds? Chris Pine?
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      [QUOTE=jay;218549]Who would play Colabello in his movie?

      QUOTE] I'm thinking maybe Chris Colabello.
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      Just think where the Twins would be if he had accepted the offer to play in Korea.

      Also, is he officially a rookie?
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmathewson View Post
      Just think where the Twins would be if he had accepted the offer to play in Korea.

      Also, is he officially a rookie?
      Nope, had almost 200 PAs last season, if I recall correctly.
    1. slash129's Avatar
      slash129 -
      Target Field needs to have a Cowbell giveaway sometime this season. It would sound like a WBC game in Miami, but take the story and run with it!!
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Yeah, I think the Twins were happy to facilitate a deal for Andrew Albers to S. Korea... I think they would have worked with Colabello and let it be his decision, but I don't think they wanted Colabello to accept it.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      I thought I saw a shot of his mom at the end of the game too-- so wondering if she stuck around to see the game winning single. Can we fly her around for good luck??
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Being such a long time Twins fan, I have soooo many all time favorite players. And many of them weren't necessarily the "stars" of the team. But right now, there is just nobody I watch more or root for more than Colabello.

      And as I stated in a previous article, I have simply stopped betting against him.

      That being said, if the hard work and pitching adjustments suddenly bring this story to a close, NOT saying its going to happen, again, no longer betting against him, he has already lived a dream come true.

      I think it might be time for a nickname.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      My two favorite stories are Colabello and Deduno. Late bloomers!
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Time to think about the All Star ballot write-in campaign.
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