Everything in this world has a patron saint, it seems, but if that’s the case, someone needs to canonize Tex Avery so he can be the patron saint of baseball.
After all, who else but the legendary codifier of cartoon cruelty could conceive a more fitting humiliation than what happened to Mike Yastrzemski, grandson of Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Carl, on the occasion of his first major league hit Sunday.
Yastrzemski, 28, was facing Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Luke Weaver in the second inning at Oracle Park and dropped a little bloop single into shallow left field.
Unfortunately, he took a little too wide a turn around first. Yastrzemski tried and failed to get back in time — and the camera caught his wife, Paige, in the stands, trying to will him back to first before the throw got there — but to no avail.
He was out.
On the bright side, they do still score that a hit in the box score so his batting average still got credit.
That little humiliation aside, Yaz the Younger had himself a monster debut.
He hit a single in his next at-bat, then doubled and scored in the seventh inning to add his first big-league extra-base hit and run to the stat sheet in Game 2 of his big-league career.
The double was a beauty right down the left field line:
— JenniferPreston (@JenniferPreston) May 26, 2019
Despite his efforts, the Giants lost 6-2.
One day earlier, a Giants fan reported on Twitter that Yastrzemski’s wife, ever the devoted spouse, looked about ready to go Juan Marichal on the pitcher when her husband got plunked.
After Mike Yastrzemski got hit with a pitch, his wife jumped up like she was going to punch somebody. #SFGiants
— DavidXF (@SanDiegoGiants) May 25, 2019
Yastrzemski finally got to the majors at age 28 after tearing it up for the Giants’ Triple-A affiliate in Sacramento.
The River Cats standout hit .316 with a 1.090 OPS and a team-high 12 home runs.
Yastrzemski still has a long way to go to catch his famous grandfather in the legacy department, however.
Carl Yastrzemski won the batting Triple Crown, leading the American League in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 1967 — a feat that would not be accomplished again until Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera did it in 2012.
Yastrzemski was also the only player in the American League to bat over .300 in the “Year of the Pitcher” in 1968; his .301 average beat out Danny Cater’s .290 for the AL batting title that year, prompting baseball to make rule changes in 1969 to increase scoring.
Yaz ended up with 3,419 career hits, good for ninth all-time.
So the younger Yastrzemski probably won’t get the 3,416 hits he needs to catch Grandpa.
Then again, he’s already caught Grandpa on one interesting milestone; after Carl Yastrzemski’s first major league hit in 1961, he got thrown out trying to steal second.
But he’s on the board, even if the first one didn’t quite go the way he planned.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.