Nick Buss Becomes 108th Trojan Major Leaguer After Debut with LA Dodgers
Sept. 16, 2013
LOS ANGELES - After having a standout season for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes, former Trojan outfielder Nick Buss earned his first major league call up on Saturday, September 14 to the Los Angeles Dodgers to make him the 108th Trojan major leaguer all-time.
After six seasons in the minor leagues, Buss (who also goes by his middle name Chili), saw his first major league action at Dodger Stadium against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday when he pinch-hit for left fielder Carl Crawford in the bottom of the third inning. After flying out to center in his first at bat, the rookie remained in left field and singled to right field in his next at bat in the bottom of the fifth inning for his first major league hit. Buss finished is first major league game going 1-for-3 from the plate and was errorless in the outfield.
In a postgame interview with the LA Times, Buss said, "It was very exciting. But surprisingly I felt calm," Buss said. "You get so used to stepping into the batter's box. It was probably a little more nerve-wracking on deck then it is once you step in there. It is just back to business as usual."
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The next day (Sunday, Sept. 15), Buss made his first major league start in right field for the Dodgers in game three of the regular-season series against the Giants. The left-handed hitting Buss went 1-for-4 on the day. After three-straight ground outs, Buss came up in the bottom of the ninth with the Dodgers trailing the Giants, 4-3. He led off the inning against the Giants' closer Sergio Romo and got a soft line drive hit to fall in right field to start a potential rally for the Dodgers. Buss advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and made it to third on a single by Dee Gordon. He represented the game-tying run at third base for the Dodgers, but they were unable to push across the run and fell, 4-3.
In the minor leagues this season, Buss batted .303 with 17 home runs and 100 RBI in 131 games for the Isotopes, earning selections as both a midseason Pacific Coast League All-Star and a spot on the postseason All-PCL Team. In his first season in Triple A, Buss led the league in RBI and ranked among the league leaders in hits (139, T-10th), runs (84, 6th), triples (11, 2nd), total bases (241, 3rd), steals (21, T-13th) and slugging percentage (.525, T-10). The left-handed hitting Buss also ended the season a tear, hitting .323 with five home runs and 29 RBI in 43 games after the all-star break. He earned team Most Valuable Player and Fan Favorite accolades.
Buss becomes the second Trojan to see his first major league action this season, as current Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim infielder Grant Green broke into the ranks in early July with the Oakland A's. He was later traded at the deadline to the Angels. Both Buss and Green played together for the Trojans during the 2007 and 2008 seasons.
Overall there are nine Trojans currently playing in the majors - Buss, Green, Brad Boxberger (Padres), Tommy Milone (A's), Ryan Cook (A's), Ian Kennedy (Padres), Lucas Duda (Mets), Barry Zito (Giants) and J.P. Howell (Dodgers).