BALTIMORE, Md. – While growing up most young boys dream of one day playing in the ‘big leagues’, but few ever make it.
After spending seven seasons in the minor leagues, former Lipscomb baseball star Caleb Joseph had his dreams come true in May.
Just 34 games into the 2014 Major League Baseball season, the Baltimore Orioles called up Joseph from Triple-A Norfolk after starting catcher Matt Wieters went down with a season-ending elbow injury.
It was May 7th on the road against the Tampa Bay Rays when Joseph made his MLB debut to become the first positional player in Lipscomb baseball history to accomplish that feat and just the third Bison to do so regardless of position.
On Thursday Joseph made history again.
He was selected as the lone rookie on the Orioles’ 25-man roster for the American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers. Joseph is the first Bison positional player to ever make a postseason roster. Bo McLaughlin made the Oakland A's playoff roster as a pitcher in 1981.
Ironically, the former Bison standout got his first career hit against the Tigers on May 13.
The 28-year old rookie backstop helped the O’s to their ninth AL East crown and the first since 1997. Baltimore ran away with the division after finishing the season 12 games ahead of the second-place New York Yankees, tying the second largest margin in team history.
Joseph proved to be a reliable option behind the plate for the AL East champions, seeing action in 82 games with 81 starts.
In his fourth month of major league duty the Nashville native made history once again, this time Orioles history.
On August 9 Joseph etched his name in the O’s record book with a fifth straight game with a homer – a club mark for catchers.
He accomplished that feat while facing four different teams – the Seattle Mariners, Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays (2) and St. Louis Cardinals.
The seventh-round selection in 2008 finished the 2014 regular season with a .207 batting average, nine home runs and 28 RBIs. He had 51 hits and scored 22 runs.
Joseph showed he possessed one of the league’s most dangerous arms behind the plate after gunning down 23 would-be base stealers. That total was tied for 15th-best in MLB and he did that playing fewer games than any of those other 15 players.
If Joseph qualified, his .404 caught stealing percentage would rank fifth across the entire MLB.
Thursday night the O’s knocked off the Tigers 12-3, setting a club postseason record for runs scored, in the first game of a best-of-five series in the ALDS. Joseph did not see any action in the win.