The cheers started building at 7:51 p.m., and grew loud as Lastings Milledge strode to the plate at Shea Stadium for the first time in his career.
He won’t be a Moonlight Graham, getting just one at-bat, and nobody knows if he’ll be a star or a bust, but the first time is a thrill.
It’s impossible to read anything into one at-bat, but if you could you’d have to give Milledge a thumbs-up. One could only imagine the butterflies, but he didn’t look nervous when he scorched Miguel Batista’s 0-and-1 pitch for a laser to shortstop Craig Counsell.
The two-pitch at-bat didn’t take more than a minute, but it’s sure to last a lifetime for Milledge. And, who knows? If the kid becomes a star, there will be 1 million who’ll claim they were here.