Joey Gallo on getting called up and police escorts
No, that wasn’t the president or another head of state with a police escort whizzing by you on I-35W Tuesday evening. That was Texas Rangers’ top prospect Joey Gallo getting help from a state trooper after getting called up from Triple A Round Rock.
Gallo was still asleep around 1:30 p.m. when he got the call that he was headed back to Arlington. Round Rock got back late from Colorado Springs Monday night so Gallo was letting his phone ring while he caught some zzz’s. But when Round Rock manager Jason Wood called Gallo didn’t need to let it ring twice.
“I was really excited to see his name [on the phone],” said Gallo, who homered to left-center field Tuesday night, his first start with the Rangers in 2016. “I kind of panicked and rushed up here to the game.”
448 Estimated distance in feet for Joey Gallo’s fifth-inning home run Tuesday night. It was his first homer in 2016.
Traffic on I-35 can be tedious, of course, so the Rangers set up an escort with a Texas State Trooper, who met Gallo in Alvarado, which is about 27 miles south of downtown Fort Worth.
“We got to skip a lot of that standstill traffic,” said Gallo, who followed the trooper all the way to Globe Life Park. “I just followed him. [He used] yellow lights, sometimes he would put the red, white and blue on. Most people just pulled over. That definitely helped me get here on time. It was definitely pretty sweet.”
Of course, the Rangers-Athletics game was delayed for an hour because of rain, so Gallo ended up having plenty of time. Oakland won 6-3.
“I was like, ‘Oh, good, now I can eat,’ so it was good,” he said. Before he got to Alvarado, Gallo said, he was hitting speeds like he hits baseballs. His homer Tuesday had an exit velocity of 110 mph.
“I probably shouldn’t talk about it,” he joked. “Probably a little dangerous but I had to get here. Especially when I heard I was in the lineup. I was like, ‘Now, I really need to get there.’”
With a little help from the Department of Public Safety, he made it.
Gallo said he’s steered clear of the trade deadline rumor mill. When he got the call Tuesday afternoon a possible trade didn’t even occur to him.
“I haven’t heard much,” he said. “I’m just going to the field and playing every day. That’s what I’m trying to do. You get caught up in that [and] it’s tough to play, it’s kind of mentally exhausting. Wherever I am, I’m going to play. That’s the way I’m approaching it.”
Manager Jeff Banister said the plan is to have Gallo playing every day.
“That’s great to hear. I feel like I can help this team, bring some power to the team,” Gallo said. “I want to stay here and I don’t want to go back.”