BOSTON There were times last season and early this season, Scott Podsednik thought of calling it a career.
There were thoughts, Podsednik said Friday afternoon, standing in front of his locker in the Red Sox clubhouse before the start of the three-game series against the Rays.
Getting back into shape and ready to play is one thing, but getting an opportunity for some organization is another thing. So I started to wonder if that would ever happen again.
The decision to stick with it paid off this week for Podsednik, who turned 36 in March. After starting the season with the Phillies, the Sox purchased his services on May 12 and promoted him from Triple-A Pawtucket May 22.
He entered the game that night as a pinch-hitter and the next day made his first big league start Sept. 9, 2010. He was limited by injuries to just 34 games and 157 plate appearances last season with four minor league teams, two each with the Phillies and Blue Jays. The long wait, he said, made him more appreciative.
I worked extremely hard this winter getting myself in the proper shape I needed to be in so I feel gratified that the work I put in is paying off, he said. So my bodys healthy. Im ready to go and help the club.
With seven big league teams in 11 seasons, Podsednik, a third-round pick of the Rangers in 1994, has a career average of .280, with 42 home runs, 301 RBI, playing all three outfield positions.
In his first start with the Sox, Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore, he went 2-for-3 with a home run as the Sox won, 6-5. He was the first Sox player to hit a home run and a sacrifice fly in his first start since Jerry Casale on April 15, 1959.
It was a feeling of accomplishment, he said of his thoughts as he rounded the bases. My careers been up and down with injuries, different teams, so it was a good feeling to get in and make an impact.
We have a good group of guys here. What I wanted to do was come in and fit in and gel with what they've got working here.
Podsednik is batting ninth, starting in center field Friday against the Rays.
You got the wall in left, youve got some tricky angles out there, he said of the Fenway outfield. But you go out there and when it's hit you go get it.
Im excited. With the injuries last year pushing me out of the league, its nice to put a big league uniform on again and to do it here in Boston with the caliber of the organization like theBoston Red Sox, its going to be exciting.