Bittersweet Return – Brandon Belt

This isn’t the way you want to get called back to the big leagues.

I was in bed when Bobby Evans called at around 12:30 last night to tell me a car would be picking up me and Chris Stewart around 6 a.m. to take us from Fresno to San Francisco. I had been following the Giants game on my iPad so I knew about Buster’s injury. But I didn’t realize how awful it was until I watched the video later that night. Buster is one of my good friends on the team, so it was painful to watch.

I drove to the Fresno ballpark to gather my baseball stuff – about a dozen bats, batting gloves and four fielding gloves (three first-baseman gloves and one outfielder’s glove). Then I went back home, packed my clothes and tried to get a couple hours’ sleep. The car that was supposed to pick us up broke down, so the Giants’ travel coordinator Mike Scardino hopped in his own car at about 3 in the morning and got to Fresno around 6:30. Then he turned around and drove back, delivering us to AT&T around 10.

The first people I see are Buster and his wife, Kristen. They had been in the clubhouse consulting with the Giants’ medical staff. I said hello but I’m not sure they even heard me. They seemed like they were in a fog, like they were still stunned by what happened. Buster will be missed in so many ways that it’s almost indescribable. He’s not just a great player but he’s a great person and has such a positive impact on everyone in the clubhouse. We’re all pretty confident he’ll back before the end of the season. Groesch, the Giants’ trainer, said he’s seen lots of athletes return to full speed after an injury like this. And Buster is as tough a guy as I know.

I was pretty much running on fumes when I got to the clubhouse and unpacked my stuff. I drank two Red Bulls, did some soft-toss in the batting cage and went to the field for some BP and fielding. I didn’t talk to Boch until right before the game. I stopped in his office to check in, and he told me to be ready for a double-switch type situation. He said to take both gloves because I could play either position. But he didn’t need me.

I’m really happy to be back, and I’m hoping I can contribute right away. It’s a huge blow to lose someone like Buster. But what I admire so much about this team is how much of a true team it is.  Everyone has a chance to make a difference.

The team bus is about to leave for the airport, so I’ve got to go. We’re flying to Milwaukee. I think I’ll sleep the whole way.

-Brandon

83 Comments

Brandon – I agree that it’s unfortunate that you got called back up as a result of injuries, but I know you will make the most of this opportunity to shine. All of our hearts are breaking for Buster and we wish him a speedy recovery. The outpouring of support for him and the Giants is tremendous. Looking forward to seeing you out on the field again. Met you at the Ballpark Gallery across from AT&T Park after a game recently before you went to Fresno. My daughter, Hayley, is one of girls who made a “Brandon” belt in your honor. She will be proudly wearing it to the Giants’ games again! We will be cheering you on – best of luck!

Though the circumstances are, as you say, “bittersweet”, it’s really great to see you back up here. I’ve been rooting for you to be recalled back up after tearing up your first week back down in Fresno. We all knew it was inevitable, but it just sucks that you had to come back in this kind of situation. We’re all pulling for Buster’s swift recovery, and we’re all pulling for you to make the best of your comeback. Thanks for the update, Brandon. I’ll be cheering for you, like I have always been since you first made it up to the bigs two months ago. Time to shine and make the best of this situation!

Brandon—It’s great to see you have the same sense of team and family that has made the Giants organization so great. Yesterday was a sad day for all of us, but your return gives us something to look forward to in the days and weeks to come. Welcome back!

You are a good man Brandon. They are very lucky to have you in the wings. Swing that bat for Buster!

Brandon, thanks for the blog post. It is indeed a bittersweet way for you to return to The Show, but I’m glad to see you back in orange and black. Maybe you’ll be our next Rookie of the Year! It sounds like you’re a good teammate and that you’re ready to make a contribution. We need you!

Brandon,
I will be cheering for you! Time to shine and rock it out! You will be great!

Bittersweet it is…. Glad to see your face back on the team because i believe you are a huge asset, but we all know what crucial loss it is not having buster’s consistent talent in the lineup. Time for the team to do work!!! The giants and buster posey have my unconditional support! LETS GO GIANTS!!

Despite the circumstances, I’m happy to have you back. Love what you said about the Giants being a team. It’s what won the World Series last year, for sure. I’m looking forward to watching how you guys pull it together post-Buster to make the playoffs again. I know you guys can do it.

Thanks for posting this Brandon, it’s wonderful to get your perspective on the situation at hand.
Our Giants have such class that it’s a pure joy being a fan. Through thick and thin, Brandon, through thick and thin.

Brandon, I appreciate that you said everyone has the chance to make a difference on this team. As you know that is how we won the 2010 World Series. I’m thrilled that you’ve been called back up, even if it happened in the midst of such a terrible blow to the team. I will definitely be rooting for you, and I imagine we’ll be seeing great things from you.

Brandon, it is so good to have you back, even if the circumstances are so heartbreaking. Enjoy your trip on the road–I know you will give it your all! See you when you guys get home!

You are a class act yourself. Good luck, Brandon

Good luck Brandon, good to have you back on the team, hope to see more of you on the field. Stomp Milwaukee for Posey.

B. Belt-
Best of luck my man. Stay positive and focused and most of all keep the guys in the clubhouse loose. last year buster was the young guy coming up and leading this team by example. the most important thing we need is someone to do the same thing. obviously you cant be posey, you can only be belt. so just be you and the fans will embrace your presence

Brandon, I feel really bad about Buster, Mark, and Darron’s injuries. We usually get a couple pairs of tickets a year to go to games. This year I decided to get a custom Belt #9 away Jersey made to wear to the games.

Our game was Thursday against the fish. I had no idea that would be the day that you got called back up due to injuries. I honestly feel like crap because it may of been my “karma” that caused our guys to get hurt. Yes, I still wore my Belt jersey.

Welcome back and make the best of it. See u on 8/30/2011 against the Cubbies. I’ll be in Section 128 Row 3 Seat 5. Come sign my Jersey.

Buster will surely be missed while he recovers, but I am positive the Giants made the right call keeping you in the forefront of their minds when finding a solution to filling the gaping hole Buster’s absence will be. I am happy you’re back, even under the circumstances of your return. I wish you the best of luck and know you will do just fine -do Buster proud, as we are all proud of you. Get some sleep! :)
All my love, Lindsay

Reading your blog I see that you are a thoughtful person. It is hard taking someone’s place, but unfortunately these things happen, and we are happy to have you back with the Big Boys. We wish you all the luck in the world Brandon. I will be glad when you and Buster can “High Five” at home plate again, but until then tear it up kid!
~Nicole~

I wish you the best of luck Mr. Belt. You have all the skills and the right additude to make it happen. You also have a great group of guys around you. I think youre gonna provide the impact we need to stay a top the NL West. Go Giants!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome back Brandon. I’ve been waiting to see u back on the field. Too bad for posey I hope he gets well soon, but now it’s your time to shine. So shine boy shine! Good luck out there:)

Yes, it’s unfortunate about Buster’s injury and hopefully, he will make a full, quick recovery. In the meantime, you are a rising star of your own. Like you said, everyone on the team contributes, it’s not a one man show. Go out there and shine! Best of luck!

Good to see you back up here. Though I do wish it wasn’t under these circumstances. Buster will sorely be missed but I’m glad you’re here to help save the day. When you first started, I was thinking damn, here’s a kid that we have to watch. Your first home run, watching you run the bases while biting your lips to keep from smiling ear to ear was awesome. Do your best, I’ll be cheering for you.

Great post. It shows genuity and makes me happy that I’m a huge fan of a team of such loving and respectable guys. Let’s go Giants! :))

Brandon, it is unfortunate for so many guys in the team being put in the DL, …
but the top of all, we’re glad that you are back with the team Brandon, you have always been a part of this team, and it’s good to have you back again… lat’s all step up ’cause we’re the Giants !!!
would love to see you on the field soon Brandon !!! :)

Great to have you back! Thanks for blogging. I really enjoyed it.

Dear Brandon,
You’re right, it’s not the way you imagined yourself getting back up to San Francisco, but you should know we’re all happy to see you back on the field. Take this opportunity and run with it.

Sincerely,
Trevor

Good luck Brandon. It is too bad that your back came under the Circumstance, but I think you will fit right in. Good luck and God’s speed.

hey man i know you had a tough first run earlier this season, but youve got a second chance to prove to every one of us fans that youre a ball player. make it happen. good luck.

SF is delighted you are returning, despite our absolute heartbreak about Busty.
You are a Giant, and we welcome you back – we missed you !

It is great to see you back. I have been a fan of yours since the beginning! I am saddened about what has happened to Buster but look forward to seeing you shine on the field!

Welcome back Brandon. I know this time you are here to stay Stay focused throughout the journey.

Brandon- Since the beginning of the season, we have enjoyed watching you play and know that you will do your best to help your team stay on top. It is a really sad situation, but we’re a strong city and a strong team. Everything will be okay! I have faith in you guys. Although, like we have all said, it’s bittersweet, I too am glad to have you back and look forward to watching you play again! Thanks for posting this :)

Glad to have you back B! ALthough I do wish it were under different circumstances. It was only a matter of time.

Good Luck! I’m glad to see you back, because I was bummed when you went to Fresno. Seize this opportunity to show your talent while Buster takes the time he needs to recover.

Brandon,

Although everyone is just heartbroken about Buster’s injury, we’re also very glad you’re back. It was only a matter of time before you got the call, though the circumstances truly suck.

Please don’t press at the plate or let things weigh you down. Just do what you do, and you’ll be fine. You know you can play up here, and there are a ton of fans who believe in you, and are rooting for you in a big way. Not just because we want the Giants to win, but because it’s obvious you’re a quality person as well.

Good luck!

I was devastated on wednesday when I saw what happened to Buster… Honestly at that point it was irrelevant to me whether they won the game or not but when I saw you were being called up I was pretty excited that you were coming back I was a big fan of yours and was pretty sad when you got sent to Fresno. I’m totally excited for you that ur getting ur well deserved second chance, maybe not the best of situations but it is what it is. Good luck to you this second time around I look forward to see succeed and also wish buster a speedy recovery!
One of your San Jose fans!
Erika =]

Of course you didn’t want to get called back up because of something like this. But we’re behind you and happy to see what you can do in the Bigs. Go get ‘em!

Brandon, this type of thing happens in this game go rip the hide off the ball and make your spot on this team. Your one of our future stars God speed to Buster and family.

Thanks for sharing your experience at how you got the call in the midst of this situation. Make the best of it, Brandon. The team needs you, and your teammates and the fans have faith you’ll be ready to go.

I am from the Valley so cheering for the Grizzlies has always been a natural thing to do. I am soooo hoping you can stay with the Big Leagues and make a difference. I know you have it in you to be the best player ever. Just thinking about what happened to Buster makes me sick to my stomach. They really need you to amp up their spirits like Buster would want you to do. Yes, I bleed orange and black :)

The baseball gods work in mysterious ways sometimes, and this one is no different. Get your young butt out there and make us all proud of you. Get a bunch of knocks for Buster too. He will be missed dearly, but you can soften that by turning on the heat and lighting up the opposing pitchers.
Good Luck Brandon

Great post Brandon. You will be a great addition to the team in this difficult time. Good luck in Milwaukee – will be watching the game tonight! Go Giants!

Good luck Brandon. I hope your .300 BA and your 15 HRs this season as a Giant serve as a silver lining in this hell we live in as Posey-less Giants fans.

Everyone has a ton of faith in you. We’ve all watched you field like an All Star so we know it wont be long before you become a permanent fixture in Giants lore.

Best of luck to you, and all of the other guys who have been brought up to fill the void on this injury plagued team. We’re fortunate to have such promising prospects(regardless of what reporters are saying about the lack thereof) in the minors right now that are just a couple weeks of good at-bats away from being every day players on the Giants.

I was really excited to hear you come back, but I was hoping under less weighing circumstances. The great thing about this team is that it is more like a family. Everyone supports everyone, and I know after decades of watching this team play, you are very fortunate to be a part of something we haven’t seen in a long time here in San Francisco.

Take this 2nd chance at being in the show and make it sing.
Go Giants!

Brandon, it is bittersweet. But I can tell you love being a Giant. The Giants are a true team, and many other teams wish they had the same great chemistry as the Giants. Now is your chance to make a difference on the team. You don’t have a starting job, yet. With Bochy’s team, if you get a chance, and get some hits, you’ll be out there the next day. I’m sure you’ve seen how Shierholtz and Fontenot have had their opportunities, and they have made a difference. I know you will too. Good luck!!!!

Hey Brandon, just wanted to say that you seem to have your heart where it needs to be in this. The moment Buster went down I prayed, not just for him but for everyone involved, and my prayers also go out for you too bud. You have such a gift on the field, and your swing is one of the best, fluid swings I’ve ever seen (the homer you hit is a perfect example of that). Keep giving your absolute all out there man, I’m praying for you that your hard work will pray off. So from the bottom of my heart, I wish you all well. Go get em today!!

It’s nice to see you back, even under the circumstances. I know you will help to pick the team up in the time it needs it most. I completely agree that this team is a true team and everyone participates to its success, just like you will. Hope you rest up! :)

I’m a big fan of Buster’s, so bittersweet, yes, but glad you’re getting a chance to play some ball for us, Brandon. Can’t wait until everyone–Pablo, Fontenot, DeRosa, and Posey–are all back with us, but in the meantime, play hard, and good luck!

I would first like to say, welcome back to the show Brandon! Despite all the hurdles that the Giants are going through, the TEAM will pick each other up and drive through these rough waters. Praying for everyone that’s injured right now, especially Buster and DeRo. Just do your thing Brandon and you will be more than fine. I wanted to also let you know my wife and I met your dad twice during opening weekend. Your father was especially nice to us and had a great time talking about baseball. We live in LA so we’ll be definitely rooting loudly from the stands next time your down here! GO GIANTS!

Hi Brandon
We are great fans of Posey. To us he is a Giant. All the guys on the Giants have our loyalty. They are the best and we know you will fit right in there. We were very impressed of you abilities when you were playing with the Giants. good luck and most of all be safe

Welcome back . We know you can step in and help the club out while Buster is out . Hope to see you play in St Louis this coming Memorial Day. Good luck against the Brewers .

Rooting for you Mr. Belt…

I echo the same sentiments above and also hope that Mark DeRosa recovers in due time from his wrist injury. Kudos to Giants’ travel coordinator Mike Scardino.

Thanks for the insight Brandon! We all know how much Posey will be missed, a bittersweet time it is for you, and what a great network of supportive guys we’ve got in SF. We look forward to seeing you come up and use your talent to keep us moving in Buster’s absence. Best of luck!

I’ve been rooting for you even when you were in fresno, it’s sad about posey.. I’m just glad sabian
and boch showed faith in you. You don’t have to win over giants fans they believe in you.

Brandon–So glad that you’re back in SF. I’m confident that you will contribute to keeping the Giant’s “magic” alive. Your blog provides a peek inside the life of a pro ballplayer that I haven’t read elsewhere. As Roger Craig coined, HUMM BABY!

We didn’t want your return to SF to be like this, but we are excited you are back and will be cheering loudly for you! Play good ball and make the best of this terrible situation. Go Giants! and welcome back :):)

Glad to see you back, Brandon! What a classy guy you are to acknowledge how unfortunate the situation is…I’ve got a group of 37 folks I’m bringing to the 6/5 game (Sunday) against the Rockies and look forward to seeing you out there! Go GIANTS!!!!

The day I heard you made the opening day roster I bought a Belt #9 jersey. You’re going to have a long career up here. Try not to put to much pressure on yourself. You don’t have to replace Buster. Just go out, have fun and things will take care of themselves.

Go get em kid. Make the best out of ur opportunity and don’t put undo pressure on yourself. You belong in the bigs!

Brandon
Thanks for your post. I’m glad you are back. I never even liked baseball until last year when I read about Buster and became so enamoured with him that I started watching the Giants.

Went to my first baseball game ever in March in my Buster Posey jersey. You and Buster are my two favorites. Great to know you are friends. I’d like to get Buster and Kristen something for the twins. Can you tell me when they are expected? Thanks and welcome back.
Debbie Wong
school psychologist
Sacramento, CA

Nice words Brandon. While you are up with the Giants this time, concentrate on your hitting, and make yourself irreplaceable. I was rooting for you during the spring, and I think it was good you went down to Fresno. Hopefully you were able to hone your abilities to make you the major leaguer you truly are. We wish you well. The Giants need you and we need to stay on top and prove other baseball fans wrong that the Giants can’t repeat. Go Giants!

it’s great to have you back. it’s sad what happened with Buster, but am sure glad that we have a solid player like you to depend on. go giants.

I’m really happy that they called you back up. I was super impressed by you in the beginning of the season and didn’t think you ever shoulda gone back down. What happened to Buster sucks!! I hope you’re right and he comes back before the end of the season. And I hope you earn a permanent spot :) You guys are a great club and I know you will still be the best.

Dear Brandon. Bittersweet indeed. But all things considered, I’m glad to have you back, and I’m absolutely sure you’ll be able to help things along during the rest of the season.

Best wishes from a GIANT fan from Denmark, Europe.

- Arko

Thanks for the blog. Just be yourself and try not to press and you will do what we all know you are capable of. Best of luck!

Dear Brandon,
I’m glad you’re back with the Giants…but obviously the circumstances that brought you here were very difficult. You had been playing so awesome in AAA….so know you can do the same in San Francisco. Thank you for all the hard work you put in with the Grizzlies….it has paid off…and now you are ready to step in!!!!! Welcome back–we’re cheering for you!!!!

Lynne Marcus
Modesto, CA

Yeah, this is a tough one. With all we have been through together these past few years both fans and the team it was like seeing a member of your own family get hurt. People have been in tears because of this and its not just what this means to the team and the season. I think you’ll do great this time up. It’s easier the second time around and now its all business, not so much the press hype and all. So best of luck to you and let’s see if this team doesn’t start playing effin’ crazy. Well your UP again and you’ll stick this time I’m sure!
TFitz

Brandon, many people compare you with or sometimes call you “the next Buster Posey”. I don’t agree because you are not at all that. You are your own special unique talent and I have the UTTERMOST respect for you, man. There is only one Buster Posey and there is only one Brandon Belt. Everything happens for a reason. I am a huge (beyond words) Buster fan but, I’m also a huge Brandon Belt fan too. Your being called up is not unfortunate but, rather a time when we need you the most. Only the timing and circumstance is unfortunate. But you are destined for your own greatness. I have a collection of autographed baseballs sitting above my living room TV from most of the guys on the team…which includes Buster, Timmy, Ross, Freddy…etc…and I have your autographed ball as well which is displayed among them because in my eyes, you’re already a World Series Champ. Go get ‘em buddy and Let’s Go Giants!

Best,

Anthony

Brandon,
Good luck!

I bought your jersey earlier this year. I’m glad you’re back. The reason is bittersweet, but I’m sure you will do your best!

We are so grateful the Giants have such great talent and coaching staff. We also understand that impatience does not capture the prize. Hard work and you will be a superstar also. Hang in there!

Go Go Brandon! We need your bat! I am sure you will drive some balls into the McCovey Cove for us.

Brandon, as lame as it sounds, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. If it’s later on in the season or next year, posey will be back and ready to go. I know this team can overcome all obstacles and continue to win. We have too much heart and character on this team not to continue to move the line. With the combination of the young kids being called up, veteran leadership and strong pitching we got this. Good luck out on the diamond, I have no doubt that you’ll shine. humm-baby!

Good luck! Not that you need it!

Brandon:
I know this is not the way any player wants to be called up; but, I know you are up to the challenge of being on the Major League level. Good Luck! Go Giants!

Brandon,
Welcome Back :)

Best of luck and launch a few out there!

Brandon…you won my heart with your first big league homerun and you BELONG on the Giants team. I’m devastated by the loss of Buster and I know he’ll fight his way back for us fans and his love of baseball. But I’m also elated that they’ve brought you home. You belong in San Francisco!!

I went to watch the grizzlies play on Thursday and hoped to get your name on a ball. Like the entire Orange Nation, Buster’s injury is huge blow to the team. Make the best of this bittersweet opportunity and make the whole organization proud of this chance, especially us back here in Fresno.

Brandon, thanks for your perspective. As a lifelong Giants fan, I’m so proud to have you part of the organization. Glad to see you returning. Just know the day will come when we’ll see you on the starting lineup.

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Brandon, you have a heart of a champ — welcome back! Unfortunate how/why you came up this time, but we all know it’s a matter of time that you would be in SF again anyways. We’re rooting for you and hope you’re able to relax and enjoy your experience this time around. Good luck!

Brandon,
Pat and Rowand and Huff are right! Guys always go up and down at first! You know yourself and you know how to adjust things for yourself. You learn how to do that faster and faster with time. Boch and Sabean are smart guys and see that. Take advantage of this opportunity to shine and earn your spot in the everyday lineup where everyone knows you belong! Oh and that sure is thoughtful of you to take the time to write this blog and let us know your personal take on everything that’s been happening! I love you Belt!! You’re an inspiration!
Love, Sierra Wilson

Brandon – so sorry that you are on the DL! I know that you must be really disappointed and maybe frustrated right now because you just want to be here and it hasn’t happened quite yet, but just keep your head up, get well and you will be here fully soon! You are too talented to not be and we are all rooting for you!

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