HOUSTON -- Brandon Barnes was called into the office of Triple-A Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco following Monday's game in Salt Lake City to supposedly talk about the game. DeFrancesco's real reason for summoning the outfielder had a much bigger meaning.
"We were just talking some stuff about the game and he just said, 'You're going to the show,'" Barnes said. "I kind of sat there like, 'Really?' Tears came, obviously. It was just excitement. I got to call my wife and she started crying. It was fun."
Barnes, who will wear jersey No. 39, was in the lineup Tuesday in center field, batting seventh, in his Major League debut. To make room for Barnes on the 40-man roster, the Astros designated Oklahoma City right-hander Juan Abreu for assignment.
"I've been in this game for eight years with the same organization," Barnes said. "It's been a grind for me. Last night was definitely something that was unexpected. It was probably the second best night of my life, other than my daughter being born. It came out of nowhere to me."
The 26-year-old Barnes, Houston's sixth-round selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft, was batting .323 in 62 games for Oklahoma City. He hit .317 in 44 contests at Double-A Corpus Christi earlier this season.
"There were a couple points in my career when I just wanted to shut it down," Barnes said. "I felt like this might not be the game for me. It was tough. This game's a grind. I just kept going. My wife pushed me, my family pushed me and told me I can do it. I kind of just got back on the horse and kept going on the grind. Hard work pays off and it finally has for me."
Barnes' wife, Shawn, and 1-year-old daughter, Kenadie, were expected to be at the game Tuesday, along with Barnes' parents, his best friend and two pastors from his church.