By: Matt Rothman
Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas third basemen Colton Welker has had quite the year and was officially called up to the big leagues on Wednesday.
Welker made his debut for the Colorado Rockies and nearly homered in his first at-bat. He hit a ball 399 feet to center field that was caught on the run by Steven Duggar of the San Fransisco Giants in the Rockies 7-4 loss in his lone plate appearance.
“Getting called up it’s so humbling,” Welker said. “It’s a feeling I’ve never felt before. It is just such an honor to get this opportunity.”
Colton Welker is a big leaguer!
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) September 8, 2021
The journey has been quite the ride. After winning a state championship with MSD in 2016, Welker was a fourth-round pick by the Rockies in 2017 and made his way through the minor leagues. However, after making it to Triple-A Albuquerque, Welker was among 20 players to test positive for performing-enhancing drugs and was suspended for 80 games in May.
Nearly two and a half months later, Welker was back playing baseball and got off to a terrific start before getting called up. He started off playing in Double-A and hit three home runs in his first four games before being sent to Triple A. Welker had a grand slam in his fourth game and hit .268/.369/.437 before getting promoted to the big leagues.
However, Welker says he will never forget where his roots are and his family’s role in his baseball career after starting at a young age. Unfortunately, when Welker was ten, he suffered a devastating loss, losing his father, Dale, to cancer. In honor of his father, Welker writes on the infield dirt M-P-P — or Make Pop Proud since high school. He also has it tattooed on his chest.
His mother, Jennifer, played a big part in getting him to this point, seeing him hit over .500 as a senior in high school and win a State Championship. For his mother to watch him in the MLB was a lifetime goal he could accomplish this year.
The future is exceptionally bright for the Coral Springs native. With the trade of Nolan Arenado in the offseason, he has the potential to replace the six-time all-star. Currently, the Rockies sit in fourth place in the NL West. Welker gets the chance to contribute to the team’s final 22 games before his first full season in the big leagues in 2022.
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- Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student. He also works for the Mohave Valley Daily News in Bullhead City, Arizona covering high school sports.
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