Rookie outfielder John Rodriguez wasn't even in the Cardinals organization until midseason, and even after a trade to St. Louis he wasn't on the 40-man roster. Yet an amazing month at Triple-A Memphis, combined with injuries on St. Louis' big league squad, led to an opportunity for Rodriguez to play in the Majors for the first time. Rodriguez will be checking in with MLB.com throughout the playoffs to share his experiences with readers in his first taste of the Major League playoffs.
On Saturday, MLB.com caught up with Rodriguez in the middle of a champagne shower after the Cards swept the Padres in the Division Series. Rodriguez made his first career postseason appearance, grounding out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning.
It's just amazing. It's my second champagne party. Hopefully we can get to do two more.
Just to see these guys work, I'm speechless right now. I'm losing my voice. But now we have a couple days off and we have to get ready for the next series, whoever it is. We just need to stay focused and keep working hard and do the little things during practice, and we'll be all right. The days off will be good for us.
I thought I had a chance to beat out the play (in my at-bat Saturday), but it happens. What can you do? I was just glad to get that at-bat. It just happened so fast. I had a feeling that he was going to throw a curveball, and it was one. I put good wood on the ball, but it just happened that I grounded out.
But I'm just thrilled. I'm just thrilled right now. I know it's late in New York right now, but my family is still up watching because it's Saturday night. I just want to tell them hello and I love them very much.
I'm thinking about where I grew up, what I had to go through -- living with my mom and seeing my pops occasionally, my uncle, Bobby Allende, almost raising me. I thank God. I thank my mom. I thank my uncle. I love my family. I love my dad, my little brother. I can't wait to see them. I was just a little kid lost in the projects, but now I'm found.
Just to be here right now, with everything that I went through, growing up in a bad neighborhood, I'm just a kid living a dream right now. I'm very happy. I thank God. He's No. 1 in my life. Wow. I just have to take a deep breath. I don't even know what to say anymore. I'm really thrilled right now and I'm ready to go to the next round.
John Rodriguez's diary appears as told to MLB.com reporter Matthew Leach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.