Kole Calhoun has been to the promised land. And it was good.
"It was awesome," said Calhoun, admitting it took about a week for the awe to wear off. "I was overwhelmed. It was just cool, you know. All these different emotions. Living the dream, yeah."
The Salt Lake outfielder, who just two years ago was toiling in rookie ball for Orem, recently made the huge jump albeit a temporary one to the Los Angeles Angels' roster. It was a life-changer.
"It's a crazy game," Calhoun said.
In explaining Calhoun's immediate insertion into the lineup upon his return, Bees manager Keith Johnson made the adjustment midsentence.
"Just stick him right back in there," Johnson said. "He's a professional he's a big leaguer now."
It didn't take too long for Calhoun to pick where he left off prior to his call-up to the Angels. After going hitless Tuesday, the Buckeye, Ariz., native had two doubles and scored three times Wednesday, although the Bees dropped a 14-10 slugfest to Tacoma at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
Calhoun didn't waste any time returning to Salt Lake. Between his call-up May 22 and return three weeks later, the 24-year-old got into only eight games with just 12 official plate appearances.
But he got his first hit a double in front of friends and family, including a sister who drove 12 hours from Arizona.
"It's the same game," Calhoun said. "The only difference is what you make of it mentally. When you get there and look around a little bit, the stadiums are all majestic, man. It's huge and packed with people, and it's just an atmosphere that can't be matched."
However, having one at-bat in a 16-day period can take its toll.
"These guys are professionals, and they're ready to play," Johnson said. "Especially guys who go up for the first time. It's a thrill, but after you sit on the bench for a while, it's like, 'OK, I want to play.' "
Storylines Rainiers 14, Bees 10
R Salt Lake pitching allows a franchise-record-tying six home runs to Tacoma, including two each by Mike Wilson and Luis Rodriguez.
• Salt Lake shortstop Ed Lucas hits a home run and drives in three runs.
• Tacoma and Salt Lake pitching combined for 343 pitches while allowing 34 hits and 24 runs.