Andrew Velazquez continues to live out his childhood dream as the New York Yankees open a nine-game road trip against the Braves in Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday before starting a pivotal four-game series in Oakland on Thursday.
The Fordham Prep graduate’s story continued Saturday when he hit his first career home run, leaving family and friends overcome with tears and emotions, during his team’s 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
“Get home as quick as I could so I could celebrate with the boys in the dugout,” Velazquez, who has the home run ball, said in sharing his thoughts as he rounded the bases during the postgame press conference.
Known for his defense and speed, the shortstop is hitting .242 with a home run, six RBI, eight runs scored and two stolen bases since joining the Yankees Aug. 9 in Kansas CIty when Gleyber Torres was placed on the injured list.
“Just playing really great for us–playing great on the field; running the bases, his athleticism shows up; and he’s given us good at bats,” said Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who will be faced with a tough roster decision if third baseman Gio Urshela, who started his rehab assignment Sunday, returns from strained hamstring before New York travels west or seven games in Oakland and Anaheim.
Velazquez, who attended St. Francis Xavier School in the Bronx, said he’s forgetting the past and not thinking ahead each time he steps on the field.
“When I get here, it’s about work,” said Velazquez, who stayed with his parents in the Bronx during the recent homestand. “The guys are so good at just prepping for the game and being loose in the clubhouse and in the dugout, but like about business, that I can’t help but fall in line.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK YANKEES