Growing up and going to Dodgers games at Dodger Stadium is really cool. Can you imagine what it must be like to actually put on a Dodgers uniform and play for the team you grew up loving? How about hitting your very first career home run in that very stadium?
For DJ Peters, he got to live that dream on Thursday night. In the fifth inning, Peters hit his first career big-league home run, achieving a lifelong dream of his since he was a kid.
“It didn’t really hit me until after the game,” Peters said to the media following the game. “To get it here at Dodger Stadium is surreal, but to do it against the team in orange and black is that much better.”
It was a five-year journey for Peters to get to this moment. Peters was drafted by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He’s appeared in 457 games and had over 1,700 at bats in the minors. Home runs were frequent for him, as he hit 92 of them. On Thursday, he hit his 93rd since being drafted. Only this one was a little more important than the others.
“Going to hang onto it,” Peters said. “Put it next to my next hit and hopefully have a lot of bigger hits in my career.”
It’s been an up-and-down season for Peters so far. He started the season off the 26-man roster. With all the injuries, he was added to the team and spent some time with the club. Then he was sent back down to OKC, and then called back up shortly after.
“I feel like night and day,” he said on how he feels compared to last month. “In my first stint, I was definitely excited but went down to the minors and learned a lot. I’m still getting at bats under my belt but feeling more comfortable every day in the base paths and in the box.
“Sometimes in the minor-leagues you get three or four [pitches], but here you get one. When you get that one you don’t want to miss it.”
Manager Dave Roberts has noticed a changed and more confident Peters over the last few weeks.
“DJ has been around our group for the last four years,” he said. “I think he’s a lot more comfortable in his own skin as a big-league ballplayer. The defense has been has been very good and consistent. Just slowing things down in the box has been really good. He just has an understanding of what he needs to do to learn major league pitching a little more. You don’t know until you know. This has been a good runway for him.”
Regardless of how many more home runs Peters hits in a Dodgers uniform, he already has achieved a dream every kid imagines growing up. Well done, DJ. Well done.