Bobby Scales spent more than 10 seasons and more than 1,000 games in the minor leagues before last week.
And in just nine days in the majors, he has become an overnight sensation for the Cubs as a 31-year-old rookie -- extending his six-for-six-game hitting streak with his first big-league homer Tuesday night, pinch-hitting in the seventh inning.
``What a nice story. The kid persevered, and he's enjoying the moment now,'' said manager Lou Piniella after watching Scales nearly sprint around the bases following his home run. ``Hopefully, it continues.''
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Scales already has the longest Cub hitting streak to start a career since Rookie of the Year Jerome Walton had a seven-gamer in 1989.
Asked about making things look so easy after taking so long to get to the big leagues, Scales said, ``No, no, no, it ain't easy. This game will humble you. So I'm just trying to keep my head down and keep grinding and get my work in every day.''
And maybe even start feeling like he belongs in the majors after all these years.
``You always have that doubt,'' he said of his first experience in the big leagues. ``I've grinded my rear end off to get here, and then, yeah, it creeps into your mind -- `Do I belong here?'
``But once you figure out that it's the same game and if you can slow it down -- my process isn't over yet. I've got like 10 at-bats here. I'm still just trying to slow the thing down and be as calm as I can b so I can do what I'm supposed to do.
``And you don't ever figure it out. I don't care how good you are. I'm still just trying to get through this thing and help this team win any way I can.''
So how about enjoying the home run moment a little longer than that 4.4 40 he seemed to be shooting for as he rounded the bases?
``Even in the minor leagues when I hit home runs, there's no point in showing anybody up,'' he said. ``You hit it. It went over the fence. So that's enough. So just hit all four bases and get off the field.''
It's no wonder Scales has fast become a favorite of teammates and may be on the way to becoming a fan favorite -- not to mention a part of the solution to some of the Cubs' infield depth issues.