Mike Yastrzemski tackles both the obscurity of Single-A baseball as well as a name that carries huge weight in the sport.
Minor League baseball players have a rough and uncertain road to the big leagues, but is that road any harder when you have one of the most famous last names in all of baseball on the back of your jersey? The Delmarva Shorebirds' newest outfielder, Mike Yastrzemski is in just such a position.
Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski is often called the greatest living player in Boston Red Sox history. Now there’s a new "Yaz" on the baseball diamond; he plays right field for the Baltimore Orioles Single A franchise the Delmarva Shorebirds.
But even though Mike Yastrzemski grew up watching people worship his grandfather and from a young age knew the weight his last name carries in the baseball world, he says he never felt pressure to live up to his grandfather’s legacy.
“There’s no feeling of trying to live up to that, I just love the game of baseball and want to play it for as long as I can," Yastrzemski says.
The younger Yastrzemski is currently fourth on the Shorebirds in hitting with a .303 average, six home runs and 28 RBIs, but he says life in the minors is about as unglamorous as you can get, living on buses and sleeping in low rate motels.
“For people who don’t love the game of baseball, this life would be an extreme grind," he says.
A grind he hopes will lead him one day soon to the big leagues, and he says he knows his famous grandfather will be cheering him on the entire time.