Drew, however, said it was not just a case of watching his big brother, then going the other way.All of Stu's experiences, good and bad, gave him a realistic view of professional baseball. Drew knows more than anything that his own route to the Majors -- big league Spring Training without throwing a pitch in the Minors, and a fortunate trade that put him in the bigs in his first professional season -- is to be cherished, since most people don't make it so quickly. His brother's making it this year also proves that difficulties can be overcome. "Some people get into pro ball and they don't know what to expect," Drew said. "I knew a good deal about what was about to happen, what was going on, how to do things, how to handle things. Plus I knew how hard it could be. He had a hard road. I followed along with the long and bad side of it, but he made it through. You never know how that's going to turn out." Drew had a couple of rough experiences along the way -- an arrest for refusing to take a breathalyzer test and possessing a fake ID in college, and a disturbing the peace arrest in Oxford, Miss., last October (that charge was dropped). But it was nothing compared to Stu's path. Stu never even made it to Triple-A, which would have put him in Memphis and practically in his hometown. The Cardinals parted ways with him in 2007. Stu pitched in independent ball in '09, after parting ways with the Cardinals, was with the Rockies' chain at Double-A Tulsa in 2010, and pitched two games with the Dodgers' chain at Double-A Chattanooga in '11. It wasn't until late in the winter that the Orioles signed Stu. "He knew what he had to do," Drew said. "He knew it was probably his last chance. He's not old, old, but he's 27 and was going to turn 28 this year. For a guy with no big league experience, it could be harder to sign with a team or just have a team give you a shot. He knew what he had to do. I didn't have to encourage him or say anything." Stu, sober for 15 months, pitched a total of eight scoreless outings at Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk before the Orioles gave him the call for Monday's game. "I just think that every day, I don't know how long I'm going to be here, but every moment I'm going to do everything I can," he said. Stu was talking with his parents in Collierville, Tenn., when Drew -- having already been hit by the line drive -- launched his home run and entered a slow, stiff home run trot. "They didn't know what to do, they didn't know whether to freak out about the home run he hit or talk to me," Stu said. "So I was like, just call me back later. Watch what he's doing. It's probably pretty weird for them for sure." Whatever Drew is doing is enhanced by the fact that his big brother is getting a chance to build his own memories at the Major League level. "Just knowing all the stuff that he's been through, thinking he may not even ever sign with a team this year," Drew said. "He had a good opportunity and he made the most of it."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Brittany Ghiroli contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.