It was a long road, but the former Bison finally got his chance in the show
North Dakota State alum Jay Flaa made his MLB debut on Tuesday for the Baltimore Orioles. Flaa, the 28-year old Mandan, North Dakota native, has spent the last five seasons floating around Baltimore’s minor league system before finally receiving the call on Monday that he was heading to the show.
Flaa spent one season at the University of Mary in Bismarck before becoming a Bison back in 2012. Three years later Baltimore made Flaa their sixth round back in the 2015 draft when he was 23 years old.
It was a brief outing for the big right-hander. Flaa went just one and one-third innings, walking two while not allowing a hit or a run. Flaa’s lone strikeout came in against the final batter he faced, some dude named Aaron Judge.
Following his outing, Flaa was optioned back to a Double-A alternate training site so the O’s could promote Dean Kremer to start on Wednesday.
You didn’t see Flaa’s name on SportsCenter or read about him on any big-time national sports news websites. If he gets called up again in the future you’ll once again probably have to hear it from one of your friends or family members going ‘Hey, did you hear…?’ The Orioles went on to lose the game 5-1 in a generally forgettable game as a whole.
However, after half a decade of grinding in the minors, it was cool to see Flaa finally get his due in the pros. He worked and grinded, waiting for an opportunity that he never knew for sure would come. And then it did.
The number of people to ever play in a major league baseball game in history is not enough to fill up a major league stadium. That is an exclusive club that a kid from a small town in North Dakota will always be a part of.
It also gives his family members some bragging abilities that are tough to beat a family reunion.
So from one former Mandan baseball alum to another, I tip my cap to you Jay. You’ve earned it.