Sean Burroughs is 30 years old, and sounds like he's matured some since the last time he played in the majors in 2006. He admitted to shedding tears upon learning the Diamondbacks had called him up to the bigs, and Burroughs reported for duty at Chase Field Wednesday.
We're talking about a guy who won Little League World Series titles, is the son of a former major-leaguer, a first-round draft pick and was the future of the Padres at third base in 1999. In 2002, at age 21, he opened the season in San Diego.
The Padres gave up on Burroughs after the 2005 season, and he played eight games for Tampa Bay before being sent down to AAA Durham. By June 2007, he was out of pro baseball, seemingly washed up at age 26.
The Diamondbacks signed Burroughs to a minor-league deal last November. He started this season in Reno, batted .386, and when Melvin Mora went on the bereavement list, Burroughs was the D-backs' choice to be brought up.
"Hard work, perseverance. I kind of live my life by a lot of cliches," Burroughs said. "I try to just kind of keep it simple. I've just been through a lot of ups and downs and I can tell you where I don't want to be and where I want to be, and right now I think everything's falling into place."
Burroughs admitted he probably wouldn't have believed anyone who told him he'd play baseball again after leaving the game the first time. So where was he in all those years?
"I was living a hard life. I was doing things I'm not too happy about and I learned from those mistakes," Burroughs said. "I had to kind of take a step back and look at my life and it wasn't heading in any positive direction. So I had a lot of support from friends and family to get my butt back in gear."
Burroughs said he'd been affected by injuries during his career, and took the time off to get his body healthy again.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do in life," he said. "Other things took priority in my life... I took a step back and wanted to start playing baseball again, because I knew I could compete if l lived natural."
Interesting. Lived natural? Burroughs wasn't asked to elaborate on that.
"I hit rock bottom physically," he said. "There was so many driving forces that allowed me to get everything back together."