But after an early Sunday morning phone call and a flight to Phoenix, Culberson made his Major League debut, playing second base against the D-backs with all of his immediate family in attendance at Chase Field.
The Giants recalled Culberson and optioned infielder Conor Gillaspie to Fresno to make the move official.
"I wasn't expecting anything; it was definitely a surprise," Culberson said. "[Manager Bruce] Bochy told me I was starting and I was definitely pumped about that."
Along with his wife, Sarah, who is due Oct. 3, Culberson's father, Charles, mother, Kim, and sister, Chelce, flew in from Atlanta on short notice Sunday morning to watch the game.
"They wouldn't miss it," Culberson said. "My dad worked his magic. Atlanta to Phoenix is a pretty common flight. He always told me he'd be here no matter what, whatever it took to get here. It's nice to have everyone here."
Charles Culberson was a 16th-round Draft pick of the Giants and played five seasons but didn't ever make the Majors.
Charlie Culberson was the 51st overall pick in the 2007 Draft. He struggled adjusting to professional baseball in his first two full Minor League seasons, batting .234 and .246.
He turned it around after that and at the time of his callup was batting .284 with five homers and 24 RBIs in 26 games at Fresno.
"My first couple years were learning years, but I kind of liked it," Culberson said. "I went through a lot of struggles that helped me become the ballplayer I am today. I am still fairly young. It's nice to get some of those struggles out so I know what to expect and how to handle emotions."
Bochy liked the reports he had been getting on the 23-year-old before Sunday.
"He's been playing well," Bochy said. "Doing a good job at second base, good range and swinging the bat well. He stays in the middle of the field. He does a nice job with the hitting."