Chadwick Tromp sat down for his Zoom interview after his second big-league game and introduced himself to the media on hand. He’s Chadwick, nice to meet you.
Aruba already knew. The baseball world now knows.
The Giants catcher broke through in his second try, doing some of everything to notch his first career hit, run scored, RBI and, oh yeah, win behind the plate.
The 25-year-old went 0-for-4 Wednesday and struck out three times, a debut he admitted he felt pressure during.
The nerves settled two days later, even if he was quite aware an entire country was watching his every step. Alongside Xander Bogaerts, Tromp is now one of two major league players from Aruba. He couldn’t contain his smile when he slapped a single to right in the fifth inning.
“It was a special moment for me,” said a joyous Tromp after the Giants’ 9-2 win over the Rangers at Oracle Park. “When you’ve put in so much work, day in and day out, in your offseason for a lot of years and then you get here and the moment presents itself … it’s OK to be nervous. But when I got that first hit I was like, all right, let’s do this now.”
Gabe Kapler noticed that it wasn’t just one Giant who stretched an arm out and made a fist a few times — the baseball symbol for give me that ball. Plenty of Giants wanted to ensure that Tromp, a popular clubhouse character who speaks English and Spanish, who was a winner of the rookie talent show in Scottsdale, who has “something about him that you want to root for the guy,” as Wilmer Flores said, would get to keep his first hit.
So Chadwick Tromp, what will you be doing with the ball they secured?
“It’s going to go home, and it’s going to be in my house, and it’s going to be in a glass box, and it’s going to stay there for as long as possible,” Tromp said with a sort of lyricism, before pausing and leaning forward. “It’s probably going to be in the middle of my house, to be honest with you.”
That house is in Aruba, which is hosting a party that San Francisco nearly can hear.
“The community back home, they’re going nuts. I’m gonna be honest with you, it’s crazy,” said Tromp, whose righty bat is complementing the switch-hitting Tyler Heineman as Joey Bart awaits. “People are celebrating, the whole island is practically celebrating. And to be honest with you, I love it because we’re such a small island — and it’s very important to them because it puts us on a bigger scale and shows the world that we’re a small island, but we also do big things in life.”
There was not a doubt in Tromp’s mind he would be doing a big thing, like doubling to left in the sixth inning to knock in Darin Ruf. He spent seven seasons in the minors with Cincinnati convinced his chance would come — a chance that has not come for his brother, Jiandido Tromp, who has spent seven seasons of his own in the minors and is now 26.
Tromp was asked if there was a moment he did not think this day would come.
“No chance,” Tromp said quickly. “If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. I truly believe that hard work works, and there shouldn’t be any doubt.”