The journey to get back to the major leagues has been a long one for Washington Nationals pitcher Aaron Barrett.
Barrett was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery in 2015 after experiencing discomfort in his elbow in the middle of the season. About 11 months later, Barrett was rehabbing at the Nationals’ minor league facility when he fractured the humerus bone in his right arm. The fracture made a noise that was likened to a gunshot and caused Mat Latos to throw up in the dugout.
Barrett’s injury was compared to something you only see in car crash victims. The injury set him back a bit as his healing process wasn’t going the way it was expected to go. Luckily for Barrett, the Nationals never gave up on him and kept him around on a minor league contract.
On Sunday, Barrett made his return to the majors to pitch for the Nationals in a relief appearance against the Atlanta Braves. He went one inning and struck out one batter.
Barrett’s emotions overwhelmed him as he was greeted by his teammates in the dugout. Cameras caught Barrett weeping on the bench.
“I called my wife. I was bawling. She was crying. It makes me emotional just thinking about it,” he told NBC Sports Washington. “So I called her and I was like, ‘We’re going back.’ She was basically my nerves for two years. Ultimately, it’s been in the back of my mind since day one. There was no point to start playing again if you’re not going to achieve going back to the big leagues.
“That’s been my goal since day one, and now I’m here. I was in a dark place for a long time. Like I said in other articles, I questioned, ‘Why me?’ for a long time. God has put it in great perspective for me, and I think I’ve been given this platform to show that you can do anything.”
Barrett later tweeted about the moment.