NORFOLK, Va. - It's the goal of any pitcher: throw close to home plate. Wednesday, Norfolk Tides starting pitcher Tim Melville will be throwing close to home - his former hometown.
Melville, a 28 year old right-handed pitcher, will make his debut with the Tides as Norfolk, the Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, hosts Charlotte at 12:05 p.m. However, Melville is no stranger to Norfolk or Harbor Park.
"It's exciting to play for the team you rooted for growing up," Melville explained.
Born in Alexandria, Melville attended Norfolk's Granby Elementary prior to moving to Deep Creek Elementary in Chesapeake and then continuing his schooling at Deep Creek Middle School.
"I used to sneak behind the right field fence with my brother and catch home run balls," Melville, who pitched in six games for the Reds, Twins and Padres in 2016 and 2017, recalled. "I was a smaller guy, so it was tough to fight the bigger guys back in the day in the crowd. So we figured if we went behind the fence we'd have a better chance. Then, we'd get yelled at and told to get out of there."
His family moved to Wentzville, Missouri before Melville graduated middle school. In 2008, the Kansas City Royals selected Melville, a high school senior, in the fourth round of the MLB Amateur Draft.
Wednesday, as he makes his first regular season start as a member of the Orioles organization, Melville hopes the only home run balls fans will catch on the other side of the fence are those hit by his fellow Tides teammates.