Best moments capturing Anthony Volpe’s debut at Yankee Stadium

Anthony Volpe is at Yankee Stadium on his debut on March 30, 2023.

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NEW YORK CITY – At 12:51 p.m. on Thursday, Anthony Volpe, dressed in legendary pinstripes, ran to the first-base line. The cheers were as loud as a jet engine. Anthony Volpe’s name was called out over the public address system at Yankee Stadium, and as he bumped fists with other Yankees players on the field, his nerves seemed to go away. Anthony Volpe’s young face melted into a sweet, easy smile that has been his trademark at every job he has had so far in his short career.

“It was probably the most fun day of my entire life,” Volpe said after the Yankees’ 5-0 victory over the Giants. “I probably had goosebumps the whole day.”

Anthony Volpe’s big league debut is memorable though he didn’t get a home run. The rookie was able to notch a six-pitch walk and stole a base while showcasing excellent plays on the field. This was a nice addition to a game that witnessed homers by Aaron Judge and Gleyber Torres.

MLB Pipeline ranks the 21-year-old as the No. 1 prospect for the Yankees and the No. 5 prospect in all of baseball. Anthony Volpe went to Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon for a short workout, partly to get used to the stadium and partly to build muscle. He took pictures of the outside of the ballpark and sent them to his parents, Michael and Isabelle, via text message.

Anthony Volpe also talked to Brett Gardner on the phone to get the former Yankee’s permission to switch from his spring-issued number 77 to uniform number 11.

Anthony Volpe is in the Yankees Opening Day lineup, March 30, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
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“I really appreciate him taking the time,” Volpe said. “Most of the conversation wasn’t even about No. 11; I mean, his impact on the clubhouse to this day is ginormous. I think he played a huge role in making those players leaders and taking them under their wings, the same way those guys are now taking me under their wings. I couldn’t thank him enough.”

Anthony Volpe ran into Aaron Judge in the training area. During their easygoing conversation, Judge told Volpe that he should think about the “Roll Call.” During the first inning, people would yell “VOL-pe! VOL-pe!” at him, and it would be rude not to put on a show.

“I was kind of ragging on him a little bit,” Judge said. “I said, ‘I know you’re a big Yankee fan. You’ve got to have something special for the Bleacher Creatures if you’re going to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees.’”

So, when Michael Conforto of the Giants hit a Cole pitch foul past third base in the first inning, Anthony Volpe reached for the “NY” on his chest and kissed it. It was a nod to Judge’s move from last year’s postseason when he said he had been watching too much Premier League soccer, but he was really just leaving hints for the fans.

“I kind of just thought of it, right on the spot,” Volpe said.

Anthony Volpe’s first turn at bat was in the third inning. The crowd cheered so loudly that Judge joked, “It almost felt like he was chasing 62.” Logan Webb of the Giants threw six pitches to Anthony Volpe, four of which were out of the strike zone. Volpe’s reputation for speed seemed to be on Webb’s mind, so he used one of his good pickoff throws while Volpe’s foot was still on first base.

Soon, he was off and running, showing off the skills that helped him steal 50 bases in the Minors last year. He darted into second base before catcher Roberto Pérez could throw him out.

“That’s who he is,” manager Aaron Boone said. “To do it Opening Day with the team you grew up watching and now you’re the shortstop, he was impressive early.”

Anthony Volpe made his first defensive play in the fourth inning, a toss left of first base that was rescued from an error by Anthony Rizzo‘s leaping catch. Anthony Volpe was even better in the sixth, beginning a 6-4-3 double play on a Wilmer Flores grounder. He struck out in his second at-bat and one out in the seventh.

Anthony Volpe struck hard but missed, waiving at a pair of fastballs for a strikeout. Regardless, DJ LeMahieu and Judge brought the runs home with back-to-back doubles. Volpe was standing outside the Yankees’ dugout on the stadium’s lower level about a half-hour later, embracing his parents and posing for a picture that he said would be the lasting memory of his day.

“Ever since I can remember, grade school, what I wanted to be when I grew up – it was a New York Yankee,” Anthony Volpe said. “It’s a dream come true.”

Anthony Volpe’s schoolmates were in the stands to cheer the Yankees No. 11.

The debut of Anthony Volpe was celebrated on social media.

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