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D-Backs prospect Drew gets late-night call-up

PHOENIX -- The Drew family has a tradition.

When one of the Drew brothers is promoted to the major leagues,
everyone gets a phone call. It happened first with J.D. in 1998,
then with Tim in 2000.

On Friday night it was Stephen Drew's turn. He had just finished
a game with Triple-A Tucson in Las Vegas when he was told he had
been called up by the Diamondbacks, who suddenly needed a shortstop
when Craig Counsell broke a rib.

Stephen Drew immediately started dialing and waking relatives
back in Valdosta, Ga.

"Everybody's East Coast time, except for J.D. (who was in St.
Louis with the Los Angeles Dodgers), and everybody else was asleep,
so it was kind of a funny thing," Stephen Drew said Saturday, a
few hours before making his major league debut against the
Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field.

"I remember when J.D. and Tim got called up it was the same
thing: They called up at 2:30 in the morning. You know, it's pretty
exciting."

The Diamondbacks seemed just as excited to see the 23-year-old
Drew, the 15th overall pick in the 2004 draft, in uniform. He has
been touted as a big part of the franchise's future since signing a
$5.5 million, five-year deal in May 2005. The contract came after a
protracted holdout that saw Drew join the Camden Riversharks of the
independent Atlantic League.

Manager Bob Melvin batted Drew eighth against Brewers All-Star
Chris Capuano on Saturday night and said Drew would be his everyday
shortstop, at least until Counsell returns in three to six weeks.
Counsell was injured on a swing in the seventh inning of Arizona's
4-3 victory over Milwaukee on Friday night.

"(Drew) is going to play," Melvin said. "We wouldn't have him
here if he wasn't going to be an everyday player."

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Drew bats left-handed. Drew was hitting
.284 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs in his first season with
Triple-A Tucson. He also led the team with 15 errors in 83 games.

Drew was promoted after playing 148 games in the Diamondbacks'
farm system. It was only a matter of time until Drew got the call
from Phoenix -- and began calling his relatives. He said he'd been
waiting most of his life for this moment.

"Ever since I was a little baby, I guess," Drew said. "When
J.D. and Tim were out in the yard playing, I also wanted to play
with them. For me, it's exciting. It's a dream come true to start
the game, and hopefully everything works out. It's a
once-in-a-lifetime thing."

Another once-in-a-lifetime thing will happen Monday, when J.D.
and the Dodgers come to town.

"I've never played against J.D.," Drew said. "He's eight
years older. That will be pretty exciting to see."