Anthony Volpe sets two records with his first grand slam

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On Wednesday afternoon in the Bronx, the Yankees dominated the A’s 11-3 and rookie shortstop Anthony Volpe delivered the biggest blow with a home run to center field. Although the Yankees were already leading 7-2 at the time, Anthony Volpe’s hit was particularly notable as he became the third youngest Yankees player to hit a grand slam, after Mickey Mantle and Melky Cabrera.

Additionally, it also made Anthony Volpe the youngest player to hit a grand slam at home in the Bronx, since Mantle and Cabrera both hit their grand slams on the road.

This was a historic moment for the Yankees as their rookie shortstop, Anthony Volpe, hit the team’s first-ever grand slam while playing in the position. Even though the Yankees have had legendary shortstops such as Derek Jeter and Phil Rizzuto, as well as 1962 Rookie of the Year Tom Tresh, none of them achieved this feat as a rookie shortstop for the Yankees.

Katie Sharp noted that Anthony Volpe broke a 100-year-old record by becoming the youngest player to hit a grand slam in Yankee Stadium, which includes all versions of the stadium. The only players younger than him to hit a grand slam for the Yankees were Mickey Mantle, who did it four times, and Melky Cabrera.

Anthony Volpe’s first grand slam

On Wednesday afternoon, Anthony Volpe hit his first-ever grand slam in the major leagues, contributing to the Yankees’ dominant 11-3 win against the Athletics. This victory also marked the first time the Yankees have swept a series this season.

“I was just pumped to get those runs in for the team,” Anthony Volpe said. “I think we’re just staying consistent, having really good at-bats. The more we do that, the results will follow. I feel like the last week, we’ve been playing really well. I kind of felt like it was coming.”

In the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against the A’s, Anthony Volpe hit a home run off A’s pitcher Rico García. It was Volpe’s fourth home run since making the Yankees’ Opening Day roster and had an exit velocity of 107.4 mph. Statcast calculated that the ball traveled 419 feet to the center field loading dock.

Anthony Volpe is in Yankees dugout after hitting his first grand slam against Oakland on May 10, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

Anthony Volpe had been hoping to hit a drive like this for some time, as he had been experiencing some misfortune lately. In the second inning of Wednesday’s game, left fielder Tony Kemp made a nice play to rob Volpe of a possible extra-base hit with a sliding catch toward the left-field line. To counter this, Anthony Volpe decided to hit a home run where no one could catch it.

“It’s definitely in there,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “You go out the front door like he did at 107 [mph]; that’s a pretty good poke. We know he’s got power. We know he can hit the ball out to all fields. What it turns into, I don’t know yet. We’ll see.”

As he rounded the bases, Anthony Volpe had a smile on his face and pointed upwards, then gave high-fives and fist bumps to his teammates as he reached home plate. The rookie shortstop expressed that although he had a feeling that he hit the ball well, it’s never a guarantee until you see it actually clear the fence. Anthony Volpe also mentioned that it was a good feeling to see the ball go over the wall.

Derek Jeter similarities

Interestingly, Anthony Volpe’s home run had a similar trajectory to Derek Jeter’s first career grand slam back on June 18, 2005, which also went towards the left-center-field area of the Yankee Stadium, although that was the old version of the stadium located across East 161st Street. Jeter hit his grand slam at the age of 31, eight days before his birthday, and went on to become a Hall of Fame shortstop.

It took Derek Jeter 155 plate appearances with the bases loaded before he hit the first and only grand slam of his career. Anthony Volpe has already matched Jeter’s feat in this regard, at least at this point in his career.

In contrast to Derek Jeter, who needed 155 plate appearances with the bases loaded before hitting his only grand slam, Anthony Volpe achieved this feat in just three at-bats with the bases loaded. In those three at-bats, Volpe has gone 3-for-3 with a grand slam, seven RBIs, and a walk.

After Anthony Volpe hit the grand slam, the Yankees improved their lead to 11-2 and ultimately won the game 11-3. This victory sealed a three-game sweep of the Athletics.

A young Anthony Volpe with Derek Jeter and in Yankees pinstripes.

Anthony Volpe, who is 22 years old, earned a spot on the Yankees’ roster after training in the spring and has played in every game so far. He has experienced some difficulties, which is normal for someone making the transition to the majors, and he had a batting average of .205 with a .331 slugging percentage before Wednesday’s game. Nonetheless, he has demonstrated glimpses of his enormous potential, having stolen 11 for 11 bases without being caught and hit four home runs, three doubles, and two triples.

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