A Hall of Famer and his grandson have now both homered in the same iconic ballpark
Families frequently feature traits that last several generations. Perhaps it's the acting gene -- the Barrymores and the Clooneys have had Hollywood celebrities for decades. Maybe it's something as simple as liking the exact same kind of music as your grandpa. Those familial connections are hard to break, and they're often a nice reminder of your origins.
Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski has always carried part of his family with him throughout his baseball career. Thanks to his grandfather, Carl, that's a surname that will always be linked to Hall of Fame talent, especially in Boston.
The faces in the crowd are different and there are seats on the Green Monster instead of a big net, but the setting is still Fenway Park.
That's one of the greatest features of this century-old landmark. Even if your grandfather began his career in Boston over 55 years ago, you're still stepping on that same field.
Although the younger "Yaz" began his MLB career on the West Coast earlier in 2019, a Giants road trip to face the Red Sox on Tuesday turned into a homecoming for the kid from Andover, Mass.
Mike Yastrzemski — grandson of Carl, who grew up in the Boston area and, who will return tonight for his first professional baseball game at Fenway Park, who is seen here on the right — has had his whole life to get used to being a Yastrzemski. https://t.co/h3Ns6uwaBu pic.twitter.com/fI62djxI3Z— Hannah Keyser (@HannahRKeyser) September 17, 2019
"I need to allow myself to enjoy it and take it in myself and say, 'This is special,'" Mike said before 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."
The rookie was right. It wasn't just another game at Fenway to everyone there. Grandpa Carl had visited his old stomping grounds, and the capacity crowd was ready make some noise for the first time that a Yastrzemski would bat at the venerable park since 1983.
Normal visitors just don't hear ovations like that in Boston, and it had to be an incredible feeling -- for both grandfather and grandson.
In Carl’s first game in left field on April 11, 1961, he gunned down KC A’s OF Leo Posada at home plate. Yeah, Jorge’s uncle. Today, with Mike, I don’t think I have ever seen Carl happier. Or more proud, of a grandson who is what the family Yastrzemski means.— Peter Gammons (@pgammo) September 18, 2019
That moment was special enough, but Mike made the night an even more memorable one when he stepped up to bat in the fourth. He went yard, and Boston erupted for a Yaz once again.
A Yastrzemski just homered at Fenway.— MLB (@MLB) September 18, 2019
Can you believe it? pic.twitter.com/IaEhCDyhwF
Remember, some families are drawn together by the acting bug. Some bond over music. It varies.
The Yastrzemskis not only have home run heroics, but also the love and support of everyone in Red Sox Nation. It's a special connection, and generational bonds like that just make baseball even better.
Andrew Mearns is a writer for Cut4 whose baseball obsession was born from the shattered dreams of Mike Mussina's perfect game attempt in 2001. He has a startling memory of World Series highlights that barely functions as a party trick.