Colorado Rockies left fielder Connor Joe went 2 for 5 with a double and home run on Tuesday night while the Rockies lost to the Mariners, 6-4. We’re highlighting Joe for a reason, though, trust me.
You’re gonna want to see the excitement on this home run, first off. Check it out:
If it looked like there was a little extra zeal in there than for a normal regular-season home run, well, it’s because there was. Not only was this the first career home run for Joe, but he missed the 2020 season while undergoing treatment for testicular cancer.
Even before cancer, Joe had a long journey to the majors. Drafted as a sandwich round (between first and second, also known as a supplemental first-rounder) pick back in 2014, Joe was once traded as a minor leaguer for Sean Rodriguez. Less than two months later, he was traded for international bonus slot money. Then he was taken in the Rule 5 draft, traded and finally made his MLB debut in 2019. Then he was designated for assignment after just eight games.
And then the testicular cancer popped up. Joe was forced to opt out of the 2020 season while getting his treatment. Declared cancer free in the offseason, Joe found work on a minor-league deal with the Rockies.
Back in the spring, Joe told the Denver Post that the cancer gave him a new perspective on the game.
“That really changed my mentality, because going through that and having that scare puts everything into perspective,” Joe said. “I was one who would always focus on the negatives, like taking the negatives from a game and dwelling on those. But (my mindset shift) has a lot to do with what I’ve been through in the last year, and realizing this game is really tough and you have to celebrate when you have success.”
He got the call back to the bigs on May 7 and has stuck around since then.
On Tuesday, he got his big moment. A big-league home run. Knowing all that, maybe watch that video and his reaction again and it’ll surely put a smile on your face.