Yeli: Playing catch 'takes you back to being 10'

Star slugger staying in shape tossing a ball with his brother in the street

April 2nd, 2020

MILWAUKEE -- In an effort to stay in some semblance of baseball shape, is returning to his roots. He and one of his kid brothers have been passing the time by playing catch in the street.

“It takes you back to being 10 years old,” Yelich said during a live appearance on SportsCenter on Thursday. “We used to do that when we were little kids. That’s probably the last time we did something like that.”

Yelich is 28 now, just a few weeks removed from signing a nine-year, $215 million contract with the Brewers on March 6. Six days later, Major League Baseball suspended Spring Training in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Days after that, Yelich went home to Los Angeles.

He has remained there since, following guidance from local authorities to stay inside with limited exceptions -- including having a catch. One of Yelich’s two younger brothers, Collin, was a Minor League catcher for the Braves and Marlins. The other, Cameron, served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Don’t the neighbors stop and stare?

"That's happened a few times," Yelich said. "There's a lot of people that are going for walks, or they'll drive by. It's always a good laugh. A little awkward at times. But it's kind of funny."

The original schedule had the Brewers in Philadelphia on Thursday for the Phillies’ home opener.

"It's definitely been different," Yelich said. "It all happened really fast on our end. We were in the middle of Spring Training. Things started to change really quickly. We went from playing games to being at home within, probably, 48 hours. …

“It’s kind of unprecedented times right now. There’s not really places to go hit or do any of that stuff.”

Instead he’s been staying home.

“Just trying to stay busy while staying at home, trying to do our part right now and make sure we stay inside, keep away from [others] and try to slow this thing down,” he said. “Trying to do some at-home workouts. Watch some TV shows. Really, just do the best you can to occupy yourself throughout the day.”