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The biggest call of pitcher C.J. Riefenhauser life came at midnight while he was in a hotel room in Norfolk, Virginia, when Durham Bulls manager Charlie Montoyo told the left-hander that he was being called up to the big leagues.
"At first, I thought he was kind of kidding with me," Riefenhauser admitted Saturday afternoon. "It was him and his wife yelling in the phone 'Congratulations,' and I was like 'Who is this?' After he told me I was speechless. I had no words."
The reliever said the first call he made was to his parents in New York, to give them the good news.
"I told them, 'Get a flight. I'm going to the big leagues.' I don't know if they've even slept yet."
Growing up in Yonkers, a suburb of New York City, the 24-year-old said he's excited to possibly make his debut against the team he rooted for growing up.
"When they told me I was coming up, and facing the Yankees," Riefenhauser said. "That's when I started crying, and like 'This is really a dream come true.'"
The left-hander said he got a couple of hours of sleep early Saturday morning, then slept on the flight to Tampa, so he is "ready to rock and roll." However, he's trying not to think about the possibilty of facing a player he grew up idolizing: Derek Jeter. Jeter was not in the starting lineup Saturday.
"I don't want to even start thinking about it now because then I won't be able to stop shaking," Riefenhauser laughed. "I mean, I'm already nervous as it is."
The reliever, a 20th round pick by the Rays in 2010, allowed just three hits and a single run in 7 2/3 innings of work over five appearances in Durham.
Listen to his first big-league interview below!