Fenway Park

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski lives out boyhood dream of playing at Fenway Park

Giants' Mike Yastrzemski lives out boyhood dream of playing at Fenway Park

It's difficult to imagine Mike Yastrzemski's first visit to Fenway Park as a major league player going any better.

Not only have the Giants won each of the first two games of the series with the Red Sox, San Francisco's 29-year-old rookie outfielder also managed to hit a home run over the center-field wall in the first one, an act his grandfather Carl performed countless times all those years ago.

Hours before that special moment, Mike took a walk around the field at Fenway with NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez, soaking in the environment in which he learned to love the game of baseball.

"A lot of memories being brought up coming back here," the younger Yastrzemski told Amy G. "Moments that I've had in the stands more than anything. The smell in the air and just the overall visuals of being 10 years old and falling love with baseball and seeing some really cool moments."

Being the grandson of one of the most revered players in Red Sox history had its benefits, no doubt, but it also couldn't have been easy growing up in such a large shadow. However, as Yastrzemski explained, he grew to appreciate that shadow, rather than feel compelled to make his own larger one.

"You grow up with it and you think there's pressure when you're young, but then when you understand the magnitude of the impact that he had on this city, I stopped feeling pressure and started feeling pride," he said. "You start to understand how much of an impact he had and the numbers that he put up and how essentially unattainable they are in today's game.

"There is no pressure. I get to do what I love because I fell in love with the same thing that he did."

As Yastrzemski and Amy G made their way around Fenway, they eventually came upon the famous Green Monster in left field. On the inside of the scoreboard -- an area Yastrzemski admitted he hadn't been in for close to 20 years -- they came across countless signatures all over the internal walls. Yastrzemski revealed that those walls were critical in his ascension to becoming a major league player.

"A staple of my life was baseball and this wall," he told Amy G, "and I felt like I kind of used it as a dream and ambition and a way to kind of push a little further than maybe I even should have."

All that pushing culminated in his first major league call-up at the ripe age of 29 years old. It might have taken longer than he would have preferred. But, Yastrzemski says he's better able to appreciate it now due to the long journey it took to get here.

[RELATED: Yaz to Yaz: Watch Giants rookie catch first pitch from Carl]

"When you're young and you get here, you might feel that pressure and say, 'You know, I have to perform to a certain extent or else I'm going to be back and forth for my whole career. I don't want to be that guy.' Whereas for me, I was looking at it as: I just want one day. And if I get one day to just sit in the dugout and put on the uniform, I'm good.

"Every single extra step is just one more thing that I get to say, 'Wow, that was really cool.'

Hitting a home run in your first game at your Hall of Fame grandfather's old home park? Now that's really cool.

Watch Bruce Bochy's speech to Giants, toast after historic 2,000th win

Watch Bruce Bochy's speech to Giants, toast after historic 2,000th win

Giants manager Bruce Bochy accomplished something Wednesday night at Fenway Park that only 10 others in baseball history had done before.

The 64-year-old won his 2,000th game as a big league manager thanks to San Francisco's 11-3 win over the Boston Red Sox, and celebrated with his club in the visiting clubhouse. Bochy's players and coaching staff toasted him with champagne, and then the veteran skipper thanked his team for helping him reach the milestone. 

Giants starting pitcher Johnny Cueto documented it all on Instagram, including Bochy's brief shower of bubbly.

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2000 Wins!!! 🎊🎉🎊🎊🍾🍾🍾

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"It's a number, and I don't know what the number means," Bochy told the Giants. "I think a couple things. I've been blessed to be doing this as long as I've been doing it, but it's a number that all of you are a part of, trust me. I'm riding the backs of you guys. I look at the support from ownership, the front office, the players, this coaching staff ... I can't thank you guys enough, and hopefully when you look at this number, you know you're part of it because you are. 

" ... I'm not going to get emotional here, but (2,000 wins) is not what was on my mind -- I swear to you -- this year. It was more us getting (to the playoffs) and for you guys to do what you did in July to get back into this thing and for this to happen, I can't thank you enough. Thank you."

[RELATED: Watch Giants rookie Yastrzemski catch first pitch from grandfather]

Bochy's players couldn't thank him enough, either. Catcher Stephen Vogt is in his first season with the Giants and his only one playing for Bochy, and he said the team's toast to the legendary manager was a fitting tribute. 

"This is something you want to do for a manager who's been around and given so much time to his players over the last 25 years," Vogt told reporters in Boston (H/T San Francisco Chronicle). "If you know anything about this game, it's every day. It's sacrifice. It's giving time away from your family in order to achieve greatness, and he's one of 11 at the top of the list. There's a lot more than just winning baseball games that went into tonight."

Giants' Bruce Bochy grateful 2,000th win didn't have trademark torture

Giants' Bruce Bochy grateful 2,000th win didn't have trademark torture

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has had enough torture to last a lifetime. 

His San Francisco teams became synonymous with the word earlier this decade, winning the World Series in 2010, 2012 and 2014 but not before experiencing dramatically up-and-down journeys in the regular season just to reach the postseason, and more in the playoffs before winning the pennant, let alone the Commissioner's Trophy. The Giants had to win the final game of the regular season in 2010, come back from a three-games-to-one series deficit in the 2012 NLCS and won a dramatic Game 7 in the 2014 World Series. 

Bochy's 2,000th victory as an MLB manager — an 11-3 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday — was much less dramatic.

"Doing it in an easy way tonight, too," Bochy said to NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez after the game. "That's what I thank them for. No torture! Last night, you saw it again [in a 15-inning Giants win]. But it's a number that so many of us had something to do with, and I'm forever grateful."

The Giants' current three-game set with the Red Sox is just Bochy's fourth visit to Fenway Park as a big league manager and his third with the Giants. The orange and black have not played in the hallowed stadium since 2016, so plenty of visiting Giants fans -- and Bay Area-to-Boston transplants -- made the trip to Fenway during Bochy's final season. 

[RELATED: Yaz to Yaz: Watch Giants rookie catch first pitch from Red Sox legend]

A smattering of Giants fans sat behind the visiting dugout in the bottom of the ninth inning, and they chanted Bochy's name during his on-field interview with Gutierrez. Their support was not lost on the man who became the 11th manager in MLB history to win 2,000 games. 

"It means a lot for them to be here and doing what they're doing," Bochy said. "It's really overwhelming at times."