Carl, who played his entire 23-year Hall of Fame career in Boston, emerged from the Red Sox’s dugout to an eruption of cheers; Mike made his way to the field from the visiting dugout. They embraced between the pitcher’s mound and home plate, where Carl had hit 237 homers over his career and Mike hit his first in Tuesday night's 7-6, 15-inning Giants win.
“Special,” Mike said. “It was something that you say you want to be able to play catch with your dad and your grandfather in the backyard usually. To be able to get one in at Fenway Park was really cool.”
With eyes around the ballpark eagerly locked in on this moment, Carl tossed a pitch perfectly into his grandson’s glove. The interaction gave Mike, 29, a flashback.
“Honestly, I was thinking about the last time we had played catch,” Mike said. “I remembered a time probably during Thanksgiving when I must have been 7 or 8 at his house. Being able to relive that and to go through that again on this type of scale and to have such a warm welcome from everyone was really awesome.”
They met again for another hug and spoke shortly before Mike headed back to grab his bat to hit leadoff for the Giants.
“It’s history,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said before the game in which he recorded his 2,000th managerial win with an 11-3 victory. “Grandfather, grandson. Hall of Famer. I said you couldn’t script it out better for Mike, what happened to him yesterday, hitting a home run here. It’s good to see Carl out there. … It’s going to bring back a lot of good memories for a lot of people here.”
Mike started in right field Wednesday after manning left, where Carl had played, in the series opener. He went 1-for-4 with one RBI, one walk and two runs. Mike is the first Giants rookie to hit 20-plus home runs since Dave Kingman reached the mark in 1972.