I was in my home in the Bronx with my wife Maggie, 7 months pregnant with Osvaldito, our second child, and little Ruth, 10 months old.

It was the night of Friday, September 21, 1956, and it had been 3 days since my team, Minneapolis Millers, had been eliminated in the first round of the triple-A playoffs of the American Association league.

Team manager Eddie Stanky had told me that once the Millers finished their season, the New York Giants planned to move me up to the majors. I was looking forward to the call to inform me that I would indeed be promoted to the Major Leagues. Every minute that passed was endless.

Until the phone finally rang, I hastily picked up the phone and greeted with a barely perceptible sound, as I could hardly speak.

On the other side came the voice of Horace Stoneham, owner of the Giants, asking for Ozzie Virgil. I identified myself and that’s when he broke the news that the franchise had bought my contract from Minneapolis and I had to report to the big team immediately. I had to sit down to absorb the message.

I finally managed to react, I was overwhelmed with happiness and I immediately shared the good news with my family. I called my brother Carlos and my father, and that night they both moved to my house to celebrate my long-awaited promotion to the Major Leagues.

The Giants’ mandate was that I had to present myself the next day to the team, which was playing in New York, to make their debut against the Philadelphia Phillies.

But, I couldn’t get to the ball park on time because that Friday night, in the middle of the commotion caused by the news of my promotion to the Major Leagues, I forgot to move my car and the next day I realized that the it had been taken away by municipal tow truck for being parked on the wrong side of the street.

I spent the whole Saturday morning running errands to get my vehicle back and for that reason I didn’t make it to the stadium in time for the game. So my major league debut was postponed to the next day, Sunday the 23rd (Preamble to my book I, Virgil, My Story, which will soon be released).

megkrantz@hotmail.com

Tweeter: @megkrantz

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