Anthony Volpe ran to the first-base line at 12:51 p.m. to the sound of jet engines. dazzling in a bright white outfit on Thursday. His heart beat quickly under those pinstripes; it wasn’t as fast as earlier in the week, when his future hinged on a trip to the manager’s office, but it was close.
Any signs of extreme anxiousness appeared to disappear as Volpe heard his name called out over the Yankee Stadium public address system and he shook hands with his new colleagues. The childlike smile that has been Volpe’s signature at each stage in his short professional career melted into his youthful face. The youth was equipped for this.
Following the Yankees’ 5-0 victory against the Giants, Volpe stated, “It was probably the most fun day of my entire life.” “I think I was covered in goosebumps the whole day.”
The warm-and-fuzzy side of a game in which Aaron Judge hit the Majors’ first home run of 2023, Gleyber Torres cracked a two-run shot, and Gerrit Cole struck out 11 batters over six scoreless innings included Volpe’s big league debut, which also included a six-pitch walk, a stolen base, and a few nice plays in the field.
The 21-year-old, who is the No. 1 prospect for the Yankees and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, visited Yankee Stadium on Wednesday for a quick workout in order to familiarise himself with the facility more than anything else. He took pictures of the outside of the stadium and sent them to his parents, Michael and Isabelle.
Additionally, he spoke with Brett Gardner over the phone to get his permission to transfer from his spring-issued No. 77 to his jersey No. 11.
Volpe remarked, “I truly appreciate his taking the time. The most of the discussion wasn’t even about No. 11; after all, his influence on the clubhouse is still enormous. In the same manner that those players are now taking me under their wings, I believe he had a significant part in developing those players as leaders and giving them leadership roles. I’m grateful beyond words to him.
Aaron Judge was there as Volpe entered the practise area. When Volpe’s name would be yelled during the first inning, “VOL-pe!,” Judge recommended that he consider the “Roll Call” during their lighthearted talk. VOL-pe!”It would be rude not to offer some theatrics,” she said.
Judge said, “I was sort of picking on him a little bit. I informed him, “I know you’re a huge Yankees fan. If you want to play shortstop for the New York Yankees, you must have something unique to offer the Bleacher Creatures.
As Michael Conforto of the Giants smacked a Cole fastball foul beyond third base in the first inning, Volpe went for the interlocking “NY” on his chest and kissed it. It was a nod to Judge’s postseason manoeuvre from the previous year, when he had claimed to have watched too much Premier League soccer but had really been dropping hints for the fan base.
Volpe said, “I kind of just thought of it, right on the spot.”
After seeing six pitches from the Giants’ Logan Webb, four of which were outside the strike zone, Volpe’s first at-bat occurred in the third inning, to loud applause that led Judge to quip, “It almost felt like he was chasing 62.” The right-hander’s reputation for speed appeared to be in Volpe’s head, as Webb used one of his useful pickoff throws as Volpe’s foot remained anchored on first base.
He soon took off, showing the baserunning prowess that led to 50 thefts in the Minors last season, racing into second base before catcher Roberto Pérez could throw him out.
Aaron Boone, the manager, remarked, “That’s who he is. He made an early impression. “To do it Opening Day with the team you grew up watching and now you’re the shortstop.”
In the fourth inning, Volpe handled his first defensive play, throwing wide of first base and avoiding an error thanks to Anthony Rizzo’s acrobatic catch. On a Wilmer Flores grounder in the sixth, Volpe started a 6-4-3 double play, showing improved cleanliness. In his second at-bat, he grounded out, and in the eighth, with runners at the corners and one out, he missed a chance to score when he faced John Brebbia.
Volpe attempted to strike out by waiving at a few fastballs while swinging hard but missing. Whatever the case, DJ LeMahieu and Judge singled home the winning runs. A little over 30 minutes later, Volpe was outside the Yankees clubhouse on the lower level of the stadium, embracing his parents and posing for what he claimed would be the last memory of his day.
The New York Yankee was what Volpe wanted to be when she grew up ever since she could remember, in primary school. It’s a realisation of a dream.