After 16 seasons, John Lindsey's call finally came.
Lindsey, 33, the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A first baseman who has played more seasons in the minors without earning a call-up to the majors than any current player, was among five players the Dodgers promoted Sunday afternoon.
Lindsey will be joined by third baseman Russ Mitchell, who is also making his major league debut, infielder Chin Lung Hu, and pitchers Jon Link and John Ely. Catcher A.J. Ellis was recalled from Albuquerque earlier this week.
For Lindsey, set to join the team Monday, it was the realization of a lifelong dream. He's spent nearly half his adult life in the minor leagues, since the Colorado Rockies took him in the 13th round of the 1995 draft.
He's had a career season in 2010, batting .354 with 25 home runs for the Albuquerque Isotopes.
"Oh man, the second [Isotopes manager Tim Wallach] told me my whole brain kind of shut down. I was hearing what he was saying, but I couldn't even believe it," Lindsey said.
"He went to shake my hand and I had to hug him because my legs were so weak."
Lindsey said Wallach had initially tried to fool him by asking him to come into his office, then slamming the door.
"I think he was trying to mess with me, but [hitting coach] Johnny Moses was in the corner, trying to keep a straight face the whole time, but he couldn't stop smiling," Lindsey said.
"Wally told me it was the happiest day as a manager he's ever had. I walked out of that office and hugged all my teammates, called my wife, and I haven't stopped smiling or pacing around the clubhouse since.
"I probably won't sleep the next three or four days."
Lindsey earned his call-up by hitting .333, .316 and .354 for the Dodgers Triple-A affiliates in 2007, 2008 and 2010. Before that, he'd never hit over .297 in a season.
"John deserves this opportunity," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said. "He has earned it with a career of hard work and perseverance. He hasn't taken a day for granted.
"I think as an organization we are very happy for him."
Ramona Shelburne is a columnist and writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow her on Twitter.