Like grandfather, like grandson.
San Francisco Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski homered Tuesday in his first game at Fenway Park, the former home venue of his grandfather, Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.
Mike Yastrzemski stepped up with two outs and nobody on in the fourth inning of the Giants’ game against the Boston Red Sox and unloaded on a 96 mph fastball from Nathan Eovaldi for a solo shot to deep center, his 20th homer of the season.
He became the first San Francisco player to reach 20 homers in his rookie season since Dave Kingman in 1972.
Before the game, Yastrzemski caught up on the field with his grandfather, who played for Boston from 1961-83. In that time, Carl Yastrzemski won an American League MVP, amassed 18 All-Star selections and slugged 452 career home runs among 3,419 hits.
“I need to allow myself to enjoy it and take it in myself and say, ‘This is special,’” Mike Yastrzemski, 29, said prior to the game. “And it’s not just special for me — for everyone who had ever seen my grandfather play and has been a Red Sox fan over history.”
His grandfather didn’t stick around for the contest — the family all has plans to attend Wednesday’s game. But Carl Yastrzemski, 80, couldn’t help but beam with pride at his grandson’s accomplishment of making it to the major leagues and back to Boston.
“I think the only way that I can compare it to anything would be if I compared it to the ‘67 season,” Carl Yastrzemski said, a reference to Red Sox’s “Impossible Dream” campaign. “That’s what it means to me and being here. It’ll be the first time that ‘Yastrzemski’ will be announced on the field since ‘83.”
Mike played his grandfather’s old position in left field and led off for the Giants. He received a rousing ovation from the crowd prior to each of his at-bats, striking out and drawing a walk in his two plate appearances before his homer.
—Field Level Media