First Tongan in American big league glad to be playing at home first time against defending champs

Sam Tu’ivailala, the first Tongan to be promoted to American baseball big league was proud of their first game at home earlier this month against defending champions, the Chicago cubs, he said.

The game was celebrated with festivities which included “Hall of Fame Players who played for the organisation” lining up to welcome the competitors.

“They were there for everyone of our players to meet when we got introduced on opening day”, Tu’ivailala told Kaniva News.

He said this was the first game at home in St. Louis against the defending champions, the Chicago cubs.

He said they were at the “same division (with) us which makes our games even more important.”

The 25-year-old pitcher from San Mateo played at Class A Palm Beach before joining AA Springfield and then moving to AAA Memphis in 2014.

As we reported at the time, it was followed by a call up by front rankers the Cardinals.

Tu’ivailala took to twitter after he received the great news.

“Greatest feeling in the world telling my mom “I did it, I’m going to the big leagues!” Thank you everyone for all the love & support!” he tweeted.

“It was just a crazy feeling as soon as I heard it,” Tuivailala told the American Daily Journal.

“I knew in the back of my head … maybe there’s a chance, but obviously I didn’t want to look into the future and get my expectations up there. I knew if I just competed one day at a time, maybe I’d get my chance.”

Tuivailala only began pitching professionally in 2012.

He was originally an infielder.

The Journal has described him as having “an electric right arm” and he has been recorded at pitching up to 160kmh.

His mother Julie is Hispanic and his father Sione Latu Tu’ivailala comes from Houma, Tongatapu and Matamaka through his father, Samiu Tu’ivailala.


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