As he prepared to board a flight back to Boston, Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski said he wasn't sure how many family members and friends would be in the seats at Fenway Park on Tuesday night. All he knew was that it would be measured by the dozens.
"I'm not leaving tickets for them," he said, smiling.
The Giants' star rookie won't have to. In Boston, his last name opens doors, and Red Sox fans have been waiting for this day just as Yastrzemski has. There were so many media requests for Yastrzemski that the Giants will hold a press conference at Fenway Park on Tuesday, when his famous grandfather is expected to be at the park.
Carl Yastrzemski, Mike's grandfather, told The Boston Globe that he plans to visit with Mike on Tuesday but won't stay for the game. He'll be in a suite for Wednesday's game, soaking in an amazing moment for a family that's baseball royalty in New England.
"It will be the first time since 1983 that the name 'Yastrzemski' will be announced," Carl Yastrzemski told The Boston Globe. "It's definitely going to be emotional. To see him come into Fenway Park where I played for 23 years, to have his name announced, that will be a great thrill for me."
Carl played all 23 seasons of his Hall of Fame career in Boston, totaling 3,419 hits and 452 homers while making 18 All-Star appearances. He was the 1967 American League MVP and won seven Gold Glove Awards. In 1989, he was elected to the Hall of Fame.
His grandson had to wait until he was 28 to break through, but Mike has been a revelation as a rookie. He has a .833 OPS and needs just one homer to reach 20, and he should get plenty of chances this week. Manager Bruce Bochy said Mike will start all three games at Fenway Park, where his grandfather played nearly 3,000 games.
"It's going to be pretty emotional," Mike said on Sunday. "I'll try and contain those things and try and make it feel like it's just a regular game."
Mike said he hasn't been to Fenway Park since taking part in a workout there when he was in college. While his grandfather has seen him play in spring training games, he has not yet watched him in person in the big leagues. Carl told The Boston Globe that he's been losing a lot of sleep while staying up late to watch Mike's games on the West Coast. They talk every couple of weeks, but it's not necessarily about giving hitting advice.
"I don't like to talk to him about hitting or anything else, because you see a game on TV and you can't tell too much," Carl said. "On TV, you don't look for little things, you just want to enjoy the game, but it's hard to enjoy it because you're so keyed up watching him. You want him to do well."