Minor leaguer Justin Toole plays all nine positions in the same game
Justin Toole of the Carolina Mudcats gave an entirely new meaning to the phrase “utility man” on Saturday during a game against Salem. Toole, who had already played first, second, third, shortstop and left field this season, played all nine positions for the Class A Indians affiliate in the 4-2 win.
“My manager … came up to me at the beginning of the year and asked me where I could play,” Toole said according to MiLB.com. “I told him, ‘Anywhere,’ and he came up to me later and said I’d play all nine positions later this year. I kind of laughed (at the time), but as the season was winding down, he picked tonight and we ran with it.”
The image you see above that Toole shared on his Twitter account shows a photo of him plying each position. He started the game in right and then moved to center in the second and left in the third. After that, he made his way around the entire infield before catching the eighth and coming in to pitch the ninth. Catching, he says, is what worried him the most.
“Definitely one of the ones I hadn’t played would be catching,” Toole explained. “I told (our pitcher at the time) if there’s anything you don’t like, just shake it off, no problem. He and I seemed to be on the same page, though; he struck out a couple.”
Considering his team won, it’s safe to say Toole did enough at every position to keep Carolina in the game. That in itself is an accomplishment. We’ve seen some amazing things like this insane home run and this amazing catch at the minor league level, but nothing quite as unique as what Toole pulled off on Saturday.