But while his name made him an immediate favorite last night, it showed the added attention the 23-year-old outfielder receives thanks to his famous moniker.
“People show up to games just to watch him play because of his name,” said Merullo. “He may be a couple generations removed from Carl, but it has to be a lot of pressure.”
But his mother said he takes the attention — including a large group of fans screaming for his autograph before the game — in stride.
“Mike always says that the Yastrzemski name isn’t really extra pressure,” said Anne-Marie, “because he’s never known another name. That’s Mike.”
Yaz agreed that he does not sweat the attention.
“The guys like to razz me about all the questions and attention I get because of my name,” said Mike. “But I just brush it off. The hardest part about professional baseball is just finding that routine that works for you.”
The most exciting moment of his professional career so far? His first home run of course.
“Now that was pretty cool,” said Yaz.While the crowd had begun to thin out as the game entered the 10th and 11th inning, much of Yastrzemski’s cheering section continued to cheer on.
“This is so cool!” said family friend Jen Grebe. “I used to baby sit him and change his diapers. Now he’s a professional baseball player.”
SEE THE ACTION For a video interview with Andover's Mike Yastrzeski, along with his highlights from the game, visit eagletribune.com/sports