Chenango Valley’s Justin Topa looks back on his major league moment

first_img“I just remember him here at Chenango valley in 2008,” said Tidick. “He was always that kind of kid. He was always the first one to practice, the last one to leave.” After spending 2019 between the Brewers Single-A and Double-A teams, the 2009 CV graduate was added to the Brewers alternate training site late July. “I was able to stick to my game plan expect for one pitch you know, kind of got beat but you have to tip your cap sometimes,” said Topa. “It was just an amazing experience to be around those guys.” “I was up in Appleton (WI) at the alternate site, and throwing pretty well and I knew in the back of my head some moves had to be made to get the opportunity,” he said. “It was pretty emotional calling my dad and sister. Unfortunately we lost my mom in December so that would’ve been one phone call I would’ve loved to make,” said Topa. When that opportunity came Monday morning, he immediately called his family. Topa pitched two innings in his debut, striking out two batters and giving up two runs on a two-run home run from the bat of Victor Reyes. Topa’s former coach David Tidick was watching closely back here in Binghamton. Topa’s road to the big leagues hasn’t been easy since getting drafted in 2013. He’s had Tommy John surgery twice, was released from the Pirates in 2017 and had a stint in independent ball. “He looked very calm and poised on the mound which is always how he’s been on the field,” he said. “He’s been in my corner forever since I was at CV,” said Topa. “I knew if that time came that was going to be one of the first phone calls, just to thank him for everything, just all the support.” “Hard work has to continue. Have to keep grinding,” said Topa. “I believe in my stuff and I knew hard work was going to get me here.” Tidick said the composure Topa showed on the mound was similar to his time on the mound for CV. “When that number popped up, I couldn’t answer it any faster,” said Tidick. “He got right into it and said ‘coach, I got the call I’m going up.'” Tidick said he always knew Topa was special, on and off the field. “There’s a lot of doubt at certain times throughout this journey,” said Topa. “That year in Indy ball was what I needed. Get the love for the game again and just go out, have fun with the guys.” “It would’ve been probably easy for someone to give up after the surgeries, but that’s not a word for Justin or a phrase, to give up,” said Tidick. Tidick now coaches on the Maine-Endwell varsity baseball staff. He and Topa have stayed close over the years. After calling his family, Tidick was one of the first people Topa reached out to Monday. (WBNG) — Tuesday night former Chenango Valley baseball player Justin Topa made his MLB debut after a seven-year journey through the minors. Now that his first game is under his belt, Topa is eager for another opportunity. While he continues to live his dream, Topa feels the community standing behind him. “I get a lot of messages from everybody and it’s truly amazing,” said Topa. “I certainly love the support. If I can’t get back to everybody right now I just want everybody to know I really appreciate it. It means a lot to me.”last_img