(WHNT) — Former Huntsville High baseball standout Brewer Hicklen has had the dream of playing major league ball for as long as he can remember; he’s spent the past few years grinding in the minor leagues trying to prove himself.

After years of hard work, that dream became a reality when Hicklen was called up to play centerfield for the Kansas City Royals.

His Triple-A manager called him into his office and told Hicklen to call his wife and they all got to share the moment learning that he’d be a big leaguer, but it all didn’t feel completely real to him in that moment.

“It really took me almost 24 hours to really have it set in and realize hey I’m here,” Hicklen said. “When I walked out onto the field for batting practice that day, it was really just surreal to realize that I was going to be starting centerfield in the MLB. Something that I’ve aspired to do since I was four years old playing for Mayfair Park on the Purple People Eaters.”

So once all the emotions had really set in and he got to Minneapolis for the Royals’ matchup against the Twins, what was that first game in the majors like?

“I got on the bus and walked into the locker room, my locker was all set and ready to go and I saw my jersey sitting there and really just got chills,” Hicklen said. “It’s weird when you think about it because it’s something you dream about your whole life but when you get there at the end of the day it’s the same game that I was playing the day before in Triple-A, so I tried to keep that perspective and I really didn’t focus on the results for that day. I really just wanted to absorb it and soak it in. I really can’t put into words how joyful and thankful I was.”

Hicklen has returned to the Royals’ Triple-A team in Omaha, but now he says he’s more determined than ever to make it back to the MLB.