Cardinals Pitcher James Naile Enjoys Moment of a Lifetime on Monday

Adam Taylor McKillop
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher James Naile enjoyed the moment of a lifetime on Tuesday.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher James Naile enjoyed the moment of a lifetime on Tuesday. / Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

It may have taken James Naile seven years to crack a big league roster, but that likely made his MLB debut that much sweeter. The St. Louis Cardinals promoted Naile on Monday in the wake of Jack Flaherty's injury, eight years after he was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2015 MLB June Amateur Draft.

It didn't take long for Naile to make his first-ever professional appearance, and the 29-year-old enjoyed the moment of a lifetime against the Miami Marlins.

James Naile Cardinals

Naile is very familiar with the state of Missouri. The right-hander was born in Cape Girardeau and grew up in Charleston, less than 150 miles away from Busch Stadium. Naturally, Naile grew up a lifelong Cardinals fan.

Cardinals News

Just imagine working your entire life to hone skills as a professional baseball player, and having to wait until the age of 29 to fulfill that dream. Add in the opportunity to pitch for the team you grew up loving, and at home in front of the Cardinals raucous faithful. Truly a dream come true.

Naile was impressive in his long-awaited opportunity. The 29-year-old faced the minimum three batters, allowing just one hit and one timely double play. He also threw only seven pitches, all of which landed in for strikes.

"I don't think I ever picked up a bat and didn't pretend I was Albert Pujols. I grew up watching Chris Carpenter, and [Adam Wainwright] and [Yadier Molina]. I had a picture of Waino and Yadi on my wall from like '05 or something."

James Naile via KSDK St. Louis

Naile pitched in the Oakland Athletics minor leagues until 2021, before joining St. Louis' Triple-A Memphis this season.

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