Giants

Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- In August of 2016, Alex Rodriguez retired as a Yankee and the organization called up Aaron Judge, who has become a superstar slugger himself.

The newest Giant was right in the middle of all that.

Rodriguez played his final game on August 12 and the next day the Yankees promoted Judge and a young first baseman named Tyler Austin. The two would make history, becoming the first teammates to homer in their first Major League at-bats in the same game. Austin and Judge went back-to-back in the second inning of that August 13 game against the (Evan Longoria-led) Rays. 

For Austin, that was just the beginning of something special. He didn't homer again until Sept. 6, but that happens to be his birthday. Two days later, Austin hit a walk-off blast with two outs in the ninth at Yankee Stadium. He's the only player in MLB history who had his first three home runs come in his first at-bat, on his birthday and via a walk-off. 

"I was fortunate enough to get some opportunities to play and those special moments happened," Austin said on this week's Giants Insider Podcast. "It was a pretty special first few months in the big leagues for me."

That's the kind of strange feat that you really only find in baseball, and ultimately it doesn't mean anything. But perhaps it shows that Austin is one of those players who likes the big moments. The Giants are hoping that's the case. 

 

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Austin hasn't homered yet, but he hit 17 last season and shows easy pop in batting practice. He said he's not worried about the massive dimensions of his new park.

"I feel like it's definitely a big ballpark but we'll have to see how the course of the year goes," he said. "I'm not going out there to try to hit home runs by any means. I'm trying to drive the ball, put the ball in play, and usually good things happen when you take that mindset up there."

For more from the new Giant, listen to his interview on this week's episode of the podcast. You can stream it here or download it on iTunes here.