Emulating a Hall of Fame baseball player as a child is probably a good way to prepare for a professional career in our national pastime. It certainly worked for Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski, who says he worked to emulate Stan Musial growing up.
It also seems to be working pretty well for Mike Yastrzemski, who didn't have to work too hard to find his MLB role model. Despite that clear link, though, Carl credits other factors with helping his grandson develop into a budding baseball star for the Giants.
"I would have to say that going to San Francisco probably was the greatest thing that ever happened to him," the elder Yaz said in an interview with Bonta, Steiny and Guru on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco. "I think it changed his whole outlook, gave him a lot of confidence that he loved the organization, and when you love where you're playing, that has a lot to do with it. I loved playing in Boston, I played there for 22 years, and I didn't want to go anywhere else."
"He's very comfortable with the managers and coaches he has. I think that's a big thing... I remember Lee Stange with the Red Sox, and when he threw batting practice I would always ask him questions."
Mike was traded from the Orioles to the Giants in 2019 after rising through the Baltimore farm system, and he's played better at the Major League level than he ever did in the Minors. Though it's a small sample size, his 1.273 OPS leads the National League after six games in 2020 and his walk-off home run -- his second of two bombs on the night -- gave the Giants the win over the Padres on Thursday.
"I got chills and goosebumps all over again listening to that replay," Carl said when joining the show. "I pull hard for him, watch all of the games and it's hard to turn the TV off..."
Carl not only credited the change of scenery with helping to boost Mike's production, but unselfishly (again) gave Kudos to another family member.
"I didn't have any advice for him because when I talked to him he was working out at a high school," Carl said. "As far as getting involved in talking to him... about hitting, I never did that.
"The one person who really helped him out with hitting and talked to him a lot was his father."