Dream come true
Every player in the major leagues is living out a childhood dream. Some more than others.
Andrew Velazquez grew up in the Bronx dreaming of playing for the Yankees and now, nine years into his professional baseball career, he finally gets to put on the pinstripes.
Velazquez starred at Fordham Prep in the Bronx before he was selected in the seventh round of the 2012 draft by the Diamondbacks. He made his MLB debut for the Rays in 2018 and played for Cleveland and the Orioles before signing a minor league deal with the Yankees this season.
After starting shortstop Gleyber Torres went down with a hand injury earlier this month, the Yankees called up Velazquez to take his place. He made his Yankees debut in Kansas City and got to play an inning in the field as a defensive replacement in the Field of Dreams game, but Monday’s makeup game against the Angels was his first chance to put on the home pinstripes.
Velazquez went 0-for-3 in his Yankees home debut, but he came through in a major way during New York's three-game sweep of the Red Sox this week. He got the party started in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with a two-run single and looked overjoyed as he hugged first base coach Phil Nevin.
In Wednesday’s series finale, he broke a 1–1 tie with an RBI single in the second and added an insurance run with another single in the eighth.
Then, he made an incredible sliding stop and fired to first for the final out of the game to finish off the sweep.
Velazquez wasn’t sure if he’d ever been to a Yankees–Red Sox game before this week (“Those tickets were probably too expensive,” he told reporters), but playing a key role in a sweep of his favorite team’s biggest rival was definitely a dream come true. After his clutch performance, Velazquez’s teammates gave him the championship belt they hand out to the MVP of each win and he gave a speech that had the team fired up.
“Apparently, I gave a pretty good speech,” he said. “I wish I wrote it down. It sounded pretty good coming out of my mouth. It just came from the heart. I’m honored to be here, in that locker room with those guys. I’ve dreamt of doing what we just did. So, in real life, it was way better.”
There were 47,000 fans in the stands but in at least one way it was just like a Little League game for Velazquez. He went home and slept at his parents’ house after the final out.
“Way closer than staying in Manhattan,” he said. “Cheaper, too.”
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A good song
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