But for Charlie Culberson, it’s going to have to be pretty eventful to beat 2012.
The former Calhoun High standout had a full year which included breaking his finger a the beginning of spring training in February, his Major League Debut for the San Francisco Giants in May, the trade which sent him to the Colorado Rockies organization in July, the birth of his first child in September and seeing his former team, the Giants, win the World Series in October.
“It’s been a fun ride,” said Culberson of his experiences over the last 12 months. “It’s certainly been an up and down year.”
Culberson said he went to spring training last year with the hopes of making the Giants opening-day roster before the broken finger set him back a little. He then opened the season with the AAA Fresno Grizzlies before getting that long-awaited call on May 12.
“My manager told me I had been called up (to the Majors), and it was almost surreal,” said Culberson.
“I had been waiting so long for it and had worked hard to get to that point.”
Culberson called his parents, who live in Rome, that night to tell them the news, and his mother, father, sister and brother-in-law immediately got on a plane and headed to Phoenix where Culberson made his MLB debut on Mother’s Day (May 13) playing second base for the Giants against the Diamondbacks. Culberson’s wife Sarah, who had been staying in Fresno with him and was four-months pregnant at the time, also flew to Arizona to see his debut.
Culberson then spent the next 11 games with the Giants before being sent back down.
“I had an awesome time, and it was everything I expected,” said Culberson. “I wasn’t in awe or anything because I had been able to play with most of those guys.
“I’m able to say that I made it to the big leagues, and now, I want to get back and be able to stick in the big leagues.”
After being sent back down to AAA, Culberson spent the next two months playing with Fresno again before an interesting turn of events. Culberson was traded from the Giants to the Rockies in exchange for veteran infielder Marco Scutaro.
Culberson, who had spent the last five years in the Giants organization after they drafted him with the 51st overall pick in the 2007 Draft, said the trade took him completely by surprise.
“It was really out of nowhere,” said Culberson. “A lot of times, you’ll hear your name involved in trade rumors, but I had no idea that was coming. I was playing in a game for Fresno, and they took me off the field. I didn’t know if I was being called back up or what.
“Then I talked to the Giants GM and he told me about the trade. It felt weird, almost like it wasn’t real. It didn’t even really set in that I had been traded until the end of the season.”
After the trade, Culberson continued his season in the AAA with the Rockies affiliate in Colorado Springs where he had a solid last five-plus weeks of the season, hitting .336 with two homers, 11 doubles and 12 RBIs.
Culberson said he had hoped and even expected the Rockies to give him a call-up in September once the Minor League season had ended, but once that didn’t happen, he returned to Augusta where he and his wife make there offseason home.
Then, on September 18, an event bigger than any in his baseball career occurred. Culberson and his wife Sarah welcomed their first child into the world, a daughter named Collins Elizabeth Culberson.
“There’s nothing like seeing your kid for the first time and becoming a parent,” said Culberson.
Two days prior to the birth on Sept. 16, the night before he and his wife went to the hospital, Culberson had a rather odd experience where there was a mix-up somewhere along the line with the Rockies transactions. Culberson said he saw a tweet that said he had been called up to the Majors. He then checked it out on several different pages, and his name was listed on Colorado’s active roster as well as being listed on the transactions page of several baseball websites as being called up.
“It was pretty fishy,” said Culberson.
“After I saw it, I was scrambling that night and the next day trying to find out what was going on. I finally talked to someone with the Rockies, and they told me it was some kind of mistake which I guess was good news at the time since we were at the hospital about to have the baby.”
Since that point, Culberson said he has just enjoyed the offseason with his wife and daughter while also preparing for the 2013 season. He said he is scheduled to report to Spring Training for the Rockies on Feb. 16 in Scottsdale, Ariz.
He and his wife Sarah will head out there a few days prior to get everything set up as he said this will be a little different Spring Training than the previous years being a new parent.
As far as his expectations on the field, Culberson said he is going into his first Spring Training with the Rockies with high expectations.
“I think I’ve got a good shot at making the team,” said Culberson. “We’ve got a lot of younger guys at the middle infield spots, and I can go back to playing shortstop of third base as a utility guy if I need to even though second base has become a good fit for me the last couple years.
“I’ve been working hard to get ready, and just the 20 at-bats I had at the Major-League level I had last year helped me a lot. I know what it takes, and I just want to go in there and help them out any way I can.”
Before heading to Arizona, Culberson will be in Rome on Thursday and Friday as one of the instructors for a camp at his dad, Charles, batting cages, Doubleday Sports Academy. He said there will be four or five instructors there, including another former Calhoun standout, Jordan Poole, who is now in the Washington Nationals Minor League system.