BOSTON -- Before the nightcap of Saturday's day-night doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels, Red Sox rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned back to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Shane Victorino's return from the DL.
But before boarding the I-95 shuttle back to Rhode Island and with the MLB draft wrapping up today, Bradley recalled his experience just two years ago, when the Red Sox selected the University of South Carolina product with the 40th overall pick.
"Fond memories," Bradley said, "but I'm glad that whole process is over with."
He continued, "I was with my family, out at dinner. We were in South Carolina because we were in [NCAA] Regionals and I think it was the Monday right after we'd won Regionals. We were all out, enjoying ourselves, having a good time, talking."
Since that day, and later signing with the Red Sox in August 2011, it's been a whirlwind experience for Bradley. After zipping through the organization's minor league system to break camp with the big league club this year, he found himself making his major league debut in Yankee Stadium less than two years after receiving that June phone call from Boston.
After previously being optioned to Pawtucket on April 18, Bradley hit .354 (28-for-79) with the PawSox in 20 games. He now returns to the minors perhaps a bit wiser.
"You're trying to get better," he said. "I'm just trying to learn every single day and found myself back up here."
On his return to Triple-A, Bradley admitted it doesn't get any easier, but baseball is the same no matter where it's played.
"I know that I'll wake up, play the game I love every single day and I'll enjoy it, no matter what happens."