Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

August 29, 2013

Hometown hero

Orioles' Yastrzemski embraced by family, friends on trip to Lowell

(Continued)

Yastrzemski — the former St. John’s Prep standout — entered the week hitting an impressive .272 with three home runs and 18 RBIs for the summer.

He was named the Orioles’ minor league offensive player of the month for July, and was named a New York-Penn League All-Star. He has also opened eyes throughout the organization.

“He’s had an outstanding summer,” IronBirds manager Matt Merullo said. “He has a very good lefty swing, plays a very good center field and is just very steady. He may not be flashy, but I think he is the best all-around player on the team.”

One Red Sox employee was also wowed by his defense.

“He just glides like a major leaguer out there,” he said.

But while his mother and a few family members have traveled to watch Yastrzemski play, it was not until this week that the entire family and Andover clan could make the 11-mile trip to Lowell to watch him take the field in the minors.

“Today is a very, very proud moment,” Anne-Marie Yastrzemski said. “We have so many people here and we are trying to be as loud as possible. Nothing is better than to see your son happy.”

Mike was also plenty happy to have his cheering section, which saw him go 1 for 4 with an RBI single, a walk and a run scored and make two impressive catches in center field in the opener on Monday.

“This is something very few people have the chance to do,” he said. “Only a lucky few get to play professional baseball and I am happy and humbled to be here. I’ve been away for so long, I got used to being away from Massachusetts and the Red Sox. So it’s cool to be back. I had the chance to get home and I am seeing family. It’s great.”

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