BOSTON -- Cleveland starter Zach McAllister smiles at the thought of the photograph snapped of him at Fenway Park when he was a kid. He put his head through a cut-out of a mock Indians player while attending the 1999 All-Star Game with his dad.
Thirteen years later, McAllister is an Indians player.
"It's kind of funny that now I'm with them," McAllister said.
On Saturday night, McAllister was on the mound at Fenway Park for the first time and he gave the Tribe seven solid innings after assuming the rotation spot vacated by Josh Tomlin. Prior to his outing, McAllister was promoted from Triple-A Columbus and Tomlin was placed on the disabled list with a right wrist injury.
It marked McAllister's first trip to Fenway Park since that visit in 1999, when his dad, Steve McAllister, was a scout for the Red Sox. Zach, who was 11 years old at the time, was allowed to go into the home clubhouse and he sat behind home plate for the ballgame. Needless to say, finally pitching in Boston was a thrill for the right-hander.
"It was exciting," said McAllister, whose dad is a scouting supervisor for the D-backs now. "I was able to come here as a young kid and kind of see everything and take it all in. But it's definitely way more exciting pitching and being a part of all that."
McAllister was a Cubs fan growing up in Chillicothe, Ill., but one of his favorite ballplayers was former Indians slugger Jim Thome, who hails from nearby Peoria, Ill. That might explain why McAllister chose to pose as an Indians player so many years ago.
"I was always a big Jim Thome fan," said the pitcher.