Reaching the age of 26 in Major League Baseball was a great display of perseverance on the part of Quebecer Charles Leblanc.
The latter was passing through the studios vestibule, Tuesday, to reflect on his first steps in the MLB, he who played his first game on July 30. And the third player remembers well how he felt at that moment.
“The only thing I remember is the heart I felt in my throat, my legs were soft,” he said.
The nervousness, however, was quickly chased away by Leblanc, who scored in his first game. He followed it up the next day with his first career home run. Whoever came up from the minors with a .302 batting average during the 2022 season quickly helped his cause stay in the lineup.
Leblanc does not hide that his age and statistics certainly helped him to integrate more quickly into the new environment. His teammates quickly made him feel part of the group.
“Of course it was easier, because I was not among the youngest. Most of the team is around 30 years old. I wasn’t a little baby who came into the team at 19 and the fact that I was a bit older meant that I was a bit more respected in the dressing room as I feel. »
“With my stats, it certainly helped as soon as I got there. Jokes got in the way, like, ‘well, Babe Ruth is coming to bat,’” Leblanc recounted.
He finished the season with 41 hits, including four homers, for a .263 batting average and 11 RBIs. However, the Quebecer knows very well that he will have to prove himself again in the next training sessions.
“I was lucky enough to get into the team with a lot of injuries and opportunities. Next year, it starts all over again, because the injured will return. I will have to prove that I have my place”, he analyzed.
Leblanc is well aware that he is now somewhat of a role model for young baseball players in Quebec, such as Abraham Tor and Otto Lopez. Everyone has an inspirational journey, and Leblanc’s can ensure that even if the doors don’t open quickly, that doesn’t mean MLB becomes inaccessible.
“If we can promote baseball as much as possible among the youth of Quebec or just show that I made it to the League at 26, I think I’m proof that if you keep playing, you’ll have a chance. I hope I can inspire a few of them,” he said. .
Leblanc will leave for the Dominican Republic at the end of the week to start preparations for the next campaign.