First pitch.

First swing.

First home run.

That’s how Mitch Longo started his career with the RubberDucks last week against the Altoona Curve.

It’s just the next step for a kid who grew up an Indians fan and one who knows exactly what it means to be from Northeast Ohio.

The 2013 Mayfield graduate grew up in Gates Mills and lived and breathed Tribe while growing up. Now with the Indians organization after being drafted in 2016, Longo pinches himself every time he takes a cut.

“In my eyes, this is the best organization in baseball to be a part of,” Longo said. “Everyone I know that has been here and gone elsewhere has always said nothing but good things about everything here in Cleveland. I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of it and hope I can be part of it as long as I can.”

Longo, 24, an outfielder, has earned his way to the Double A level with the club.

Coming into Tuesday night, Longo had a .306 career batting average with 14 home runs, 97 RBI and .811 OPS.

“He’s a kid that has had a lot of success,” Ducks manager Rouglas Odor said. “He’s a winner who will do his best to help the team win. Being from the area and having family members from the area, he has that edge. He still needs to continue to develop and learn things in the game, but if I have to describe him with a couple of words, he goes all out. Whether it’s in practice, the cage, batting practice, he’s going to do his best to take his practice into the game.”

Longo, who played at Ohio University, has had the best of both worlds as a minor-league player most of his career. Except for five games with Lynchburg in 2017 and all of last season with the Hillcats, Longo has been close to home.

“It means the world to me and I know it means the world to them, too,” Longo said of his family. “They see how hard I worked my whole life. My family went through a lot of stuff at a young age; it’s good to see everyone kind of come together for the love of the game. We’re a baseball family through and through, no doubt. It’s reassuring for them to see my success to this point, and the sky’s the limit. I’m excited to have them come to these games and hopefully advance to the next level and the one beyond that.”

It has given him virtually his own rooting section at games and has allowed him to break away from the game when he needs it.

While others on the team can only dream of returning home, Longo lives in Peninsula with his cousin and Walsh Jesuit football coach, Nick Alexander.

Should he need to get back to his roots, Longo is only 40 minutes from home.

“It’s nice to have my family around,” Longo said. “You kind of get that escape from baseball. I know throughout the course of the summer, 140-plus games you can kind of get caught in the same routine over and over again. In some ways, it’s good, but in other ways it’s hard to separate yourself from the game. It’s good I get to surround myself with family and do some hobbies I like, like fishing and that kind of thing to get your mind off baseball.”

If making a name for himself and making his family proud isn’t enough, Longo is trying to become the first position player to play for the Indians as a true Northeast Ohioan since Solon graduate Chris Bando played with the Tribe from 1981-88.

“It’s crazy to even think about,” Longo said. “Reminiscing to the day I got drafted, it’s crazy how everything in my career has worked out the way it has. Coming out of high school and not being heavily recruited and not being a top-round draft pick to getting drafted by my hometown team, it would mean the world to me to wear the Indians uni and play at ‘The Jake’ even though it’s Progressive Field now. It would be a dream come true.”