OKC RedHawks: Brett Wallace's work noticed during brief promotion to Astros
The RedHawks' third baseman said he hopes Houston still has him in the plans.
Music blared through the speakers, drowning out locker room conversation and reducing the television noise to a light murmur.
The RedHawks were celebrating another home win — this one a 4-3 Friday night victory over Omaha — in their usual fashion. Loud music, good food and a celebratory atmosphere.
Photoview all photos
NewsOK Related Articles
But suddenly, the entire mood changed.
On an overhead TV set in the middle of the room, ESPN's Baseball Tonight returned from commercial, showing the Houston Astros-Cleveland Indians highlights from earlier that day.
Those who first noticed quieted the others. Music off, TV up, all eyes migrating toward the set.
Some yelled, others cheered and all remained intently interested throughout the highlight, a 9-1 win for the Astros, Oklahoma City's parent club.
Third baseman Brett Wallace stood in the back, watching quietly, nodding at the final score before walking back to his locker, happy for his former teammates, while wishing they were still his current ones.
Wallace is only 25, young in baseball years, but the former first-round draft pick has plenty of big league experience, making his debut in 2010 before winning the Astros' everyday first base job in 2011.
But he struggled, hitting .259 with just five homers and 29 RBIs in 115 games, showing sporadic glimpses of the power he is known for.
So this season, Wallace was back in Triple-A, anchoring the RedHawks lineup with hopes of re-entering the Astros batting order.
And the demotion refocused him, as Wallace regained his power, already hitting 12 homers and driving in 42 runs in 57 games for Oklahoma City.
“He's definitely improved,” OKC manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “His defensive skills have improved. His bat, he has more of a plan at the plate, shortened his stroke. I still think there is an everyday major league player in that body.”
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 87104Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 16817OKC Thunder: Kevin Durant tours Moore, meets with residents
- 12528Oklahoma tornadoes: ‘All I could do was sit there and hold her'
- 12075Clippers' Donald Sterling hints coach let go to keep Chris Paul
- 9682Oklahoma tornado: Names of dead released; missing individuals located
- 8951Oklahoma tornadoes: Red Cross text donations not designated for Oklahoma
- 8846Oklahoma tornadoes: Love for Oklahoma generates big donation