ABQ native helps make baseball history

Ken Giles
Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Ken Giles works in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, in Atlanta. Giles combined with starting pitcher Cole Hamels, and relief pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Jake Diekman for a no hitter. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A young New Mexico man is living the dream. It was a longshot when he was called up to the majors this year, but not only is he dominating, he made baseball history Monday night.

All the success has his family and high school coach on top of the world.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher and Albuquerque native Ken Giles struck out the side in the eighth inning against the Braves on Monday, eventually making him part of baseball history.

“It is the first ever combined no hitter by the Phillies,” the announcer shouted after the big 7-0 victory.

“I just went out there and pitched,” Giles said. “That’s all I was doing and out there … get those three outs and get us back in the dugout.”

His family watched closely back home in Albuquerque.

“What a special thing, isn’t it? For him to be part of history and to be included with those guys – Hamels and Papelbon and Diekman’s going to be awesome, and for him to be included is something special,” said Ken’s father, Glenn Giles.

He said he remembers taking his son to Isotopes games and as early as 10 years old, Ken talked about playing professional baseball.

“He just worked at it from that young of age,” Glenn said. “He just always had the heart and determination and low and behold, his dreams came true.”

Ken made it to the Tournament of the Stars in 2008 and was already throwing in the 90s when he played for Rio Grande High School under the direction of coach Orlando Griego.

He throws even harder now.

“He has got a God-given talent to throw a 100 miles an hour,” Griego said.

He said it has been a dream for him to watch someone he coached play in the major leagues and an inspiration to the high school students he is coaching now.

“I think it allows a kid to dream and kids get to dream through him and say, ‘Hey, if one guy can make it, I can be the next guy,’ ” Griego said.

Giles was a seventh-round draft pick three years ago.

He made his big league debut in June, becoming the fourth New Mexican in the majors right now.

He joined Matt Moore, Cody Ross and Jordan Pacheco.

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