Mike Yastrzemski, the grandson of a Hall-of-Famer, was born into the game. It didn't take him long to show it, either.
Anne-Marie Yastrzemski, Mike's mother, recalls that her son liked all sports from the time he was born, but it was clear "early, early on" that he had a special love for baseball. In a video celebrating Mother's Day, Anne-Marie told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez that Mike was already preparing for his career while sitting in his crib.
"He would swing his toothbrush at a ping-pong ball and hit it," she said. "I was like, 'All right, this kid is definitely obsessed with baseball.' He would be on the front lawn with his diaper on hitting at his tee. People would come by and see me pitching to him nonstop and they would be like, 'Does he do anything else other than baseball?' "
Mike was born into New England baseball royalty. His grandfather, Carl, played 23 seasons for the Red Sox and is one of the most popular players in franchise history. His late father, Mike, starred at Florida State and played in the minors. Anne-Marie has spent decades around the game, and last season her son gave her two more special moments.
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She said she "went weak at the knees" when Mike made his debut for the Giants, explaining how she was overcome with a feeling that it was "all the hard work coming to fruition."
Later in the year, Mike made the trip back home to face the Red Sox at Fenway Park. He hit his 20th homer and caught the first pitch from his grandfather, and mom and son shared a special embrace in the midst of all the celebrating, an image that Mike later had etched into wood as a gift for Anne-Marie.
Yaz to Yaz for the first pitch tonight: pic.twitter.com/BS61QNwio2— Alex Pavlovic (@PavlovicNBCS) September 18, 2019
"I had a flood of emotions coming over me, but nothing more strong than just this sense of pride," Anne-Marie said. "I was oozing with pride."
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Anne-Marie Yastrzemski was one of five Giants mothers profiled by Gutierrez, along with Lynn Crawford, Amy Rogers, Cheryl Rivers (Tyler Beede's mom) and Sandy Ritchie, who helped raise Mauricio Dubon after he moved to Sacramento from Honduras.