CHICAGO -- Kyle Ryan spent a good deal of his childhood in the shadows of Tigertown in Auburndale, Fla., but he didn't go to many Spring Training games there. He had his own baseball seasons to worry about.
He did, however, develop an affinity for hunting and fishing that made him quick friends with Triple-A Toledo manager and longtime former central Florida resident Larry Parrish.
So when Ryan told Parrish this week that he had a hunting trip planned once the Minor League season ended, Parrish gave him a hint that he might have something bigger to worry about, asking him what he might do about that if he got a call to the big leagues.
A few days later, he got the news.
"'I've got some terrible news for you: You're going to have to delay your hunting trip for a little while,'" Ryan said Parrish told him.
With that, Ryan was headed to the big leagues and a spot start in Saturday's doubleheader against the White Sox. It comes less than a month after he was promoted to Toledo, and less than five months after he made the jump to Double-A Erie.
"This year has been a big blur," the 22-year-old left-hander said. "I have to keep myself in the mentality of spending a year at each place. When I take that mentality out on the field, if I do get called up, I'm that much more surprised."
Ryan actually has stronger ties to Tigers territory through family in Michigan. His mother is part of the Mott family that has deep roots in the state, and has several relatives in the Escanaba area in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
"My mom is the baby of 13, and just about all of that family lives in Michigan," Ryan said. "So I have a lot of family going to make it tomorrow."