BETHLEHEM, Pa. – After six years, Matt McBride finally received the call. The former Lehigh standout was promoted to the Colorado Rockies from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday. McBride will make his major league debut, batting seventh and playing first base Saturday night when the Rockies host the San Francisco Giants Saturday at 8:10 p.m. (ET).
A Bethlehem native and Liberty High School graduate, McBride has enjoyed continued success in the minor leagues following a record-breaking 2006 season at Lehigh. After two straight All-Patriot League campaigns to begin his collegiate career, McBride turned it up a notch as a junior when he captured the Patriot League Triple Crown (.417 batting average, 12 home runs and 61 RBI). He also set a then-league record with 88 hits while swiping a team-high 22 bases.
McBride led the 2006 Mountain Hawks to their first-ever Patriot League Tournament Title and first NCAA Tournament berth in school history. He made a splash in Lehigh’s first NCAA game, homering in the top of the first inning to give Lehigh a 2-0 lead over 12th ranked Virginia.
The Cleveland Indians selected McBride in the second supplemental round (75th overall) in the 2006 Major League Baseball first year player draft. McBride was dealt to Colorado last July in a blockbuster trade that sent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland.
McBride enjoyed brief stints at Triple-A in each of the last two seasons, but the 2012 campaign marked his first full-season at Triple-A. He has shined in Colorado Springs this season, batting a team-best .354 with ten home runs and 77 RBI in 91 games. McBride ranks third in the Pacific Coast League in batting average and fourth in RBIs. He is also tied for second in the league with 35 doubles. McBride was a catcher at Lehigh and was listed as a catcher by the Sky Sox, has also seen time in the outfield and at first base, adding defensive versatility to his potent offensive ability.
When McBride debuts on Saturday he will become just the third Lehigh player in the modern era to play in the major leagues joining Craig Anderson ’60 who pitched for the Cardinals and Mets from 1961-64 and Paul Hartzell ’75 who pitched for four teams, most notably the California Angels, from 1976-84.
The Rockies do have a pair of Eastern trips on their upcoming schedule. Colorado will visit New York to play the Mets August 20-23 and will return east to face the Philadelphia Phillies for three games September 7-9.