Tears of joy fill the Isotopes locker room after Bernard’s call

Wynton Bernard heads for third base during a recent Albuquerque Isotopes home game against Sugar Land. Bernard, who has spent his entire decade-plus career in professional baseball at lower levels, is called up to the majors Friday. (Mike Sandoval/For the Journal)

His professional debut was in the 2012 Arizona (Rookie) League.

In his 11 professional seasons, Wynton Bernard played 1,015 games around the world – with stops from Mexico to Australia, Independent League teams to his last stop in Albuquerque, where he played the best baseball of his life with the Triple-A Isotopes.

And not once, insists the San Diego native, Bernard, 31, took the time to think about what that moment of finally becoming a Big Leaguer would really feel like. But he knew who would get the first call.

“Mom B! It must be Momma B, right? Bernard said with a smile at Parc Isotopes on Thursday afternoon.

Let’s hope ‘Momma B’ has her phone nearby.

Shortly before Albuquerque’s 8-4 win over Reno on Thursday night, Bernard was dropped from the roster and told he would no longer be a career minor leaguer.

“What I saw today made it the best day of my coaching career,” Schaeffer told the Journal Thursday night. “What I witnessed in a locker room today, Wynton’s reaction, his teammates’ reaction, it just did…everything you do is worth seeing someone like Wynton, who works in the minor leagues for 11 years, doing everything the right way… That’s something we can all learn from.

“And seeing grown men cry – men who have kids – hearing Wynton Bernard called out and seeing tears flowing in a locker room by Wynton and his teammates… It’s just special, man.”


Bernard hit .325 this season in 87 games for the Isotopes with career highs in homers (17) and RBIs (74) to go along with 26 interceptions and one of the most consistent top-tier defenses in center field. of the PCL, where he was named Player of the Month for July.

All the numbers begged the question: what exactly did Wynton Bernard have to do to be called?

• 10:27 am: The Journal interviews John Boggs, Bernard’s agent based in San Diego.

“He’s obviously having a terrific season and it’s just a matter of need – where they’re going to need it,” Boggs said. “And then hopefully he gets the call up he so richly deserves.”

• 11:30 a.m.: The Isotopes print the line-up sheets for the day with Bernard in the lead and playing in the middle.

• 1:10 p.m.: The Rockies start their game in Denver against St. Louis. Outfielder Yonathan Daza injured his shoulder early in the first. It is not known how long he will be out.

• 4:15 p.m.: The Journal asks Bernard outside the dugout at Isotopes Park if he could take comfort in knowing that if he did not get a call-up from the Rockies this season, there was a good chance that another team gives him the opportunity to next year.

“Honestly, I really hope it’s with the Rockies because I made a connection here,” Bernard said. “I like everyone here. … You know how baseball is, but I hope it’s with these guys.

• 4:25 p.m.: The Journal interviews Chris Forbes, director of player development for the Rockies, about Bernard.

“He did everything he could do,” Forbes said. “…He did a great job on both sides of the ball, in the clubhouse. I mean, he’s a character boy. He is everything you want in a player.

• 5:11 pm: The Isotopes announce a change of line-up: Ryan Vilade replaces Bernard.

• 6:37 p.m.: First throw between the Isotopes and the As. Bernard is not in the canoe.

• 9:39 p.m.: Schaeffer confirms Bernard’s news to the Journal.

“He’s a great example for kids across the country — for baseball players everywhere,” Schaeffer said. “If you persevere, anything can happen.”


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