All the while, 28-year-old Chip Ambres bided his time the best way he could -- by hitting, having fun and not worrying when the time would come.
"They got called up and I think that mentally it can kind of mess with you," Ambres said. "But I just had to stay focused and keep pushing because I knew I was close. I just had to believe in myself and my ability. Just stayed focused, carried on and had fun."
On Tuesday, Ambres and first baseman Brian Myrow got the call from Triple-A Portland as Ambres had his contract purchased and was placed on the 40-man roster.
Ambres and Myrow were in uniform on Tuesday for the Padres' game against the Marlins at PETCO Park. For Ambres, it was his first time back in a Major League uniform since last season when he spent three games with the New York Mets.
Ambres joined the team when the Padres outrighted outfielder Paul McAnulty, who then cleared waivers. Ambres was hitting .289 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs this season with Portland.
Myrow, 31, who was recently selected to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game, was hitting .324 with 10 home runs and 53 RBIs. He won the Pacific Coast League batting title a year ago, hitting .354.
Ambres will be a right-handed bat off the bench and will give the team depth at outfield. He was in the starting lineup Tuesday as Brian Giles missed his third consecutive game with a sore hamstring. Giles likely won't play until Friday at the earliest.
Myrow likely won't see a lot of playing time at first base with All-Star Adrian Gonzalez and Tony Clark on the roster but could pinch-hit a fair amount.
Ambres was a non-roster invitee to Spring Training after signing a free-agent contract on Nov. 20, 2007.
"Playing good defense, hopefully bring a little speed to the game and taking an extra base when I can," Ambres said of his strengths. " ... Just try to plug in here and there and try to continue to do what I've been doing to get me here."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.