“Surreal” Debut: Colorado native David Bote shines in The Show

DENVER, CO - APRIL 21: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish
DENVER, CO - APRIL 21: Starting pitcher Yu Darvish /

DENVER – I walked into the Chicago Cubs clubhouse at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado after a 5-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies. As I finished a postgame conversation with former Colorado Rockie Eddie Butler, I heard a familiar voice.

One of those voices you haven’t heard in a half decade but when you last heard that voice, it was a frequent one. You know, the voices of the people you went to high school with that you run into at the supermarket when you’re visiting your Mom for Christmas.

I had that moment in the bowels of an MLB stadium of all places.

“So glad you’re here,” a warm voice said.

I turned around as I got a friendly tap on my back and before I knew it, I was hugging a man in a dirty blue undershirt. I discoupled to see it was Cubs third baseman David Bote who had tapped and hugged me.

The same voice that helped advised my bat through legion ball, was now spelling former NL MVP Kris Bryant at third base.

The son of legendary Colorado high school coach Bob Bote, David, made his MLB debut on Saturday in front of his father and the whole Bote brigade right in his backyard.

Bote was born in Longmont, currently residing in Thornton, graduated from Faith Christian Academy and played legion ball in Boulder. If you’re looking for Colorado Baseball, he is wearing No. 13 in Cubbie Blue.

The 25-year-old was drafted in the 18th round of the 2012 Draft. He spent four years in Single-A before a breakout 2017 for Double-A Tennessee. His Southern League All-Star honor turned into an Arizona Fall League All-Star honor which he parlayed to a 40-man roster spot over the winter.

Most would’ve given up after two years in Double-A.

“My wife said, ‘We didn’t stay in Single-A ball for four years for you to give up now,'” Bote remembered. “I was asked, ‘Could you have been further in baseball if you weren’t married?’ I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t married.”

Rachel and Dave’s second child was born this offseason. Just like it always has been with Bote, his big league debut was a family affair.

He left 32 tickets for family and friends, saying many more were also coming. The best part about being in Denver may not have been the 40,000 affable attendees but the less than 40 minute drive to his in-laws for his kids to get a pregame nap in after a long night.

“It was midnight, I was about to go to sleep and I got a call from the farm director and Triple-A manager,” he recalled the message he got in his apartment in Des Monies. “I had a flight at 6 a.m. and was ready to play.”

Play he did.

Two pitches into his big league career—in his first at bat—Bote smoked a 91 MPH Tyler Anderson fastball 109 MPH off his bat for an opposite field double.

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“He did a nice job, he made some really good plays at third base also,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought he showed himself pretty good today.”

He had three assists and a putout playing third.

"“The Cubs have always believed in me and I believe in myself,” Bote told Rox Pile. “Sometimes it takes longer, I’m not going to say I enjoyed every second of it, but it’s part of the process. It’s the grind that people talk about with every road to the bigs being different.”"

Bote watched from the Coors Field stands as a kid, admiring defensive players on the left side of the infield. He even took a tour once at 20th and Blake, which included a peak inside the visitor’s clubhouse. He joked he had already picked out a locker.

It was him who was on the left side of the infield inspiring the next generation of Coloradans. And it was him, who was the big leaguer using that clubhouse for work that many tour for entertainment.

Bote never had to help me with my swing. It’s the little things you remember about a person like a couple of soft tosses. Those little things—and a whole lot of talent—impressed Joe Maddon and the Cubs’ brass into making him the 19,218th big leaguer ever. The same determination he had to make his program better in legion ball, is the determination that carried him through seven seasons in the minors.

But to have one of the first families of Colorado Baseball’s son make his Big League debut at Coors Field and start the show with a double?

Next: What makes up the Rockies' most wanted list?

“It’s God ordained,” as Bote put it.