Jack Morris gets emotional talking about Twins rookie Devin Smeltzer

Tears were flowing at Target Field on Tuesday night.
Publish date:
Devin Smeltzer

Devin Smeltzer pitched a gem in his MLB debut Tuesday night, firing six shutout innings to lead the Twins to a 5-3 win over the Brewers. But his story is much more than a successful night on the mound. 

Smeltzer, 23, is a cancer survivor. According to Philly.com, Smeltzer was growing up in New Jersey as a 9-year-old when doctors found a tumor the size of a grapefruit in his bladder. 

"The fourth grader went through months of treatments. He lost his hair. He had no appetite for anything but garlic croutons and Doritos. He didn’t get a feeding tube implanted, because that would take away his true love: baseball."

He went into remission when he was 12, all the while maintaining his dream of playing Major League Baseball. 

"He's had to fight through a lot," said broadcaster Jack Morris, audibly fighting back tears while the TV cameras focused on Smeltzer. Morris, a World Series hero for the Twins, was telling a story on Fox Sports North about Smeltzer's journey to the big leagues. 

Morris' tears weren't the only ones at the ballpark. Smeltzer's parents were at the game along with 20 or so other friends and family, and both told FSN's Marney Gellner that they were crying every time he struck a batter out – he struck out seven. 

Smeltzer himself got choked up when Gellner asked what having family and friends in Minneapolis for his debut meant to him.

Smeltzer could stick with the Twins for at least a while longer, as right-hander Michael Pineda is on the 10-day injured list with knee soreness. However, the Twins are off Wednesday and next Monday, so they could also decide to go with a four-man rotation and send Smeltzer back to Triple-A Rochester to keep him on a consistent schedule. 

The lefty posting zeroes across the board in his debut shouldn't come as a total surprise. In nine minor-league starts this season, Smeltzer has allowed just seven earned runs and has a 1.15 ERA. 

Find the latest Minnesota Twins 2019 stories from Bring Me The News by following our Flipboard magazine.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.


Rocco Baldelli

Pineda placed on the injured list, Twins call up lefty Smeltzer

Smeltzer will start Tuesday against the Brewers.

Eddie Rosario

Smeltzer cruises in MLB debut, Twins' erupt late to top Brewers

Eddie Rosario slugged his AL-leading 17th homer of the season.

Devin Smeltzer

Who steps up if Twins don't make a move to improve rotation?

The Twins have some depth, but they should really add a pitcher.

Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 7.31.44 AM

FSN releases Twins TV schedule; Morneau gets 40% of games

The first game on FSN is happening Tuesday as the Twins take on the Cubs in an exhibition.

Keoni Cavaco

Twins take high school star Keoni Cavaco in MLB Draft

The Twins had the 13th overall pick in the MLB Draft.

With the 13th pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, the Twins select ...

The first round of the MLB Draft starts at 6 p.m. June 3.

Jack Morris can't stand the way pitchers are used in the postseason

Jack Morris "can't stand" the way starting pitchers are being handled in the playoffs.

Jack Morris can't stand the way pitchers are used in the postseason

Jack Morris "can't stand" the way starting pitchers are being handled in the playoffs.