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Jackie Bradley Jr. on D&C: Major league debut ‘exciting all around’

04.02.13 at 9:35 am ET
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Rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning, one day after walking three times and scoring twice in the Red Sox‘ 8-2 Opening Day victory over the Yankees.

Bradley said he enjoyed his major league debut more than he anticipated when he was younger.

“It was better. Definitely better,” he said. “Just because you don’t really know, when you’re that young. I guess I didn’t expect to be able to start with the big league team right away. It was just exciting all around. It was amazing.”

Bradley said he was not nervous in his first at-bat, as he overcame an 0-2 hole against veteran left-handers CC Sabathia to draw a walk. Bradley said it was difficult to lay off the last four pitches.

“As a rookie you want to swing the bat, show what you can do,” he said. “But I also wanted to stick with my approach, work him a little bit. Because I knew he was going to try to strike me out.”

Bradley wore No. 44, after wearing 74 in spring training. His preferred number is 19 (now being worn by pitcher Koji Uehara), but he said he did not request it.

“I was happy with accepting whatever number they did give me,” Bradley said. “I think they wanted to keep the 19 in the pitchers’ locker room. ‘€¦ I always liked 19, just because it’s my birthday. I can’t get 42, so I’ve always got to go with the second best.”

Among those who reached out to Bradley to send congratulations were singer Darius Rucker and some current and former players.

“I talked with David Price. He was sending his congrats,” Bradley said, adding: “I talked with J.D. Drew as well. He was also sending his congratulations. It’s good to hear back from people that you’ve met.”

Following Monday’s game, Bradley spent some time with his family, which made the trip to New York for the game.

“We all went out to Times Square and just hung out,” he said. “My family’s never been to Times Square, so I wanted to show them what the big city, bright lights has to offer. We all went out to Applebee’s and just enjoyed ourselves, and came back and hung out.”

To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

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