Former No. 1 Overall Pick Makes Majors—At Age 30

Don't give up, don't ever give up. From Vince Lombardi to Jim Valvano, it's a saying that has permeated sports—and life. Mark Appel was the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB Draft in 2013. He bombed out in the minors, and was out of baseball by 2018 — decided, at least temporarily, to abandon the sport. 

But in 2021, he decided not to give up. He gave baseball another chance. His dreams as a starting pitcher were dashed once again, but this year, he converted to the bullpen, and now he is a dominant reliever, FINALLY getting the call to the majors by the Philadelphia Phillies, at the age of 30.

"Completely overwhelmed," Appel tweeted. "I have so many thoughts I want to share but can’t find the words, so I’ll just say this:

I’m thankful. Today, I get to play a game I love as a Major League Baseball player."

Appel is 5-0 with 5 saves, a 1.93 ERA, and a 0.93 WHIP at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. There is no doubt the Phillies could make use of a shut-down reliever in their bullpen, and Appel will give it a go. 

All because he didn't give up. 

Photo Credit: EricEnfermero, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons