PBI’s Patrick Kivlehan Makes Historic MLB Debut

When you get a call in the middle of the night, it’s not always good news.

So when you’re in a Salt Lake hotel room at 1:30 in the morning and the phone rings….

Patrick Kivlehan

Photo courtesy of the San Diego Padres

That was the scenario for Professional Baseball Instructor Patrick Kivlehan, who found himself getting called up to the major leagues for the first time in his professional career on Saturday morning. He and his wife Stephanie rushed to get themselves on a bus at 4:30 AM, drove to Denver and from there took a flight to San Diego.

He didn’t have to wait long to get his feet wet; he found himself in the starting lineup playing left field and batting seventh.

After striking out in his first at bat, he found himself in an 0-2 hole on a pair of 96-mph fastballs. What was he looking for at that point? “I was just trying not to strike out,” he laughed after the game.

The third pitch from Arizona starting pitcher Robbie Ray was also at 96 and Kivlehan proceeded to crush it into the upper deck in left, some 461 feet from home plate.

Patrick  Kivlehan - Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Patrick Kivlehan – Photo courtesy of Getty Images

He followed that with a single in his next at bat, thus becoming the first player in San Diego Padres history to get two hits in his first game and have one of them be a home run.

PBI owner and president Doug Cinnella said of Patrick’s debut, “All of us at PBI are thrilled for Patrick and his MLB debut with the Padres and we wish him the best of luck.”

Fellow PBI coach Steve Hayward coached Patrick in high school and noticed Kivlehan’s skills right away. “At 16, I told him he would play in the big leagues one day. Ten years later, that day is here. He’s a great story and a tremendous kid.”

Patrick joined the PBI staff in September 2015. A two-year varsity starter at St. Joseph’s (Montvale), Patrick set the single-season home run record (14) in his senior year in a lineup that included current Chicago Cubs infielder Tommy La Stella. Patrick went to Rutgers where he focused on football. In the spring of his senior year he returned to baseball and put up an incredible .392/.480/.693 season that included 14 home runs, 50 runs batted in and 24 stolen bases in 51 games. It was no surprise when he was named Big East Player of the Year.

Patrick was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB draft and moved through the Mariners minor league system. He was traded to the Texas Rangers during the 2015 off-season and started 2016 in their minor league system. He was traded back to Seattle in May 2016 and acquired by the San Diego Padres in August 2016.

He was also named one of the 50 greatest athletes in Rutgers history by the Star Ledger.