On the heels of a very depressing series opener on Thursday night, Anthony Volpe channeled his inner Thanos: “Fine. I’ll do it myself.” On a 1-0 count against Twins starter Louie Varland, making his 2023 debut tonight, the Yankees’ rookie shortstop and hope for the future socked his first dinger as a big leaguer to left field.
For anyone wondering, longtime Yankee radio voice John Sterling had his home run call ready for the uber-talented Yankee shortstop, aka “the spectacular oggi”:
Anthony Volpe! A spettacolo oggi! Ohhh the fox socks one to left! pic.twitter.com/doiYuh2FTC— John Sterling Calls (@JSterlingCalls) April 14, 2023
Batting first tonight with DJ LeMahieu out, Volpe joined a pretty exclusive list of Yankees who have hit their first career home run whilst atop the vanguard of the Yankee order. He’s only the seventh Yankee ever, and the first since Bobby Richardson, almost 64 years ago, to get knock his first dinger out of the leadoff spot.
Yankees 1st MLB HR is a Leadoff HR— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) April 14, 2023
Bert Daniels 7/8/1910 vs CHW
Fritz Maisel 9/3/1914 vs WAS
Sammy Vick 4/30/1919 vs PHA
Aaron Ward 5/12/1920 vs CHW
Mark Koenig 4/23/1926 vs BOS
Bobby Richardson 7/25/1959 at DET
Anthony Volpe 4/14/2023 vs MIN
It hasn’t been the greatest start for Volpe at the plate, though it’s worth noting that famously mid talents like Mike Trout and Aaron Judge also got off to less-than-notable starts at the dish early in their careers. But he’s been a terror on the bases, and he’s starting to flex his power. After a brutal beatdown last night, there was likely no better start possible for tonight than Volpe’s dinger.
By the way, let’s get back to the captain for a second. Judge being Judge, he went back-to-back with Volpe to immediately give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. That bolsters his career lead over Volpe to 225-1. What a show-off.
And as I wrote this, Meredith Marakovits revealed on YES that the Yankees got the kid’s home run ball back. Congrats to Volpe and his family!