From die-hard fan to tormentor: Josiah Gray’s Yankees connection

Josiah Gray starts for the Nationals against the Yankees on August 22, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

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The Yankees lost 2-1 to the Nationals on Tuesday night after an immaculate start by their starting pitcher Josiah Gray, who held big bats of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and others to naught. However, this tormentor of the Yankees was once one of their most loyal fans.

Born and brought up in New Rochelle, New York, Josiah Gray was a devoted Yankees fan in his youth and his baseball career took shape by idolizing Derek Jeter, the Yankees legend.

But on his big day at Yankee Stadium, Josiah Gray delivered six innings against the pinstripes that he was once fiercely loyal to. He conceded a solitary run on a single hit, which happened to be a home run by Ben Rortvedt in the third inning. Despite not showcasing his finest performance, he managed to navigate through crucial moments. In the fifth inning, the Yankees had runners stationed on both first and second bases with just one out. However, Josiah Gray responded by striking out Aaron Judge and orchestrating a forceout by Gleyber Torres to quell the potential threat. Notably, he did struggle with control, issuing five walks during his outing.

Josiah Gray’s Yankees fan moment

The standout memory from Josiah Gray’s time as a Yankees fan occurred in 2003. During that year, his father woke him up with jubilant shouts of excitement, celebrating the pivotal moment when Aaron Boone, now the Yankees’ manager, secured victory with a game-winning home run in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. This triumphant hit allowed the Yankees to overcome the Red Sox and secure their spot in the World Series.

Josiah Gray mentioned that his most vivid memory was the game-winning home run hit by Aaron Boone. He also expressed his enjoyment of watching players like Jeter, Cano, and A-Rod while growing up, adding that he cherished the opportunity to attend games at Yankee Stadium.


Two decades down the line, prior to the game, Josiah Gray took a walk through Monument Park, and the memories of his visits to Yankee Stadium as a youngster came rushing back to him. He recalled his time in the 400 level of the stadium, where he held big league players in high regard. Reflecting on his childhood dreams, Josiah Gray expressed his appreciation for being in that position now as a big leaguer himself. He marveled at the opportunity to fulfill a dream he had cherished since he was a kid and step onto the field at Yankee Stadium.

Josiah Gray experienced a moment of completion as he stood on the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, participating in the Nationals’ 2-1 win on Tuesday night. Although he didn’t secure a decision, his outing resulted in a no-decision. However, in the eighth inning, shortstop CJ Abrams swung the game in favor of Washington by hitting a solo home run off reliever Tommy Kahnle, breaking the 1-1 tie and ultimately sealing the victory.

However, Boone noted that Josiah Gray appeared to be grappling with his command on the mound. There were instances where some of his pitches didn’t behave as intended, resulting in less-than-ideal offerings that surprisingly turned out well on occasion. Overall, Josiah Gray’s outing was characterized by command difficulties, yet he exhibited the ability to come up with crucial pitches to escape potentially troublesome situations. This allowed him to sustain his presence on the mound for an extended duration, handing the ball over to the relievers at the later stages of the game.

Pitching in a stadium that has nurtured talents such as Judge and Jeter held significant meaning for Josiah Gray.

Josiah Gray felt challenges to pitch

Josiah Gray expressed his excitement and pride at pitching against the team he used to root for and performing in front of his friends and family. He acknowledged that he faced challenges with his command and that his stuff wasn’t at its best during the outing. Despite that, he managed to navigate through difficult situations and escape jams. Josiah Gray highlighted the importance of pounding the strike zone and recognized that getting out of tight spots is a crucial aspect of pitching. He concluded by highlighting his goal of giving his team a chance to succeed, which he achieved in that game.

The starter mentioned that once you become a professional athlete, your fandom tends to fade. Josiah Gray acknowledged that the Yankees are going through a tough stretch but believes they have the potential to reverse their fortunes just like any other team. He emphasized the Nationals’ focus on their own performance and their goal of securing a victory.

Josiah Gray expressed confidence in the team’s competitiveness, noting their strong performance in the past month and a half. He emphasized their unity and enjoyment of playing as a cohesive team. He highlighted the excitement of challenging higher-ranked teams and contributing to their own reputation. Josiah Gray conveyed the team’s enthusiasm for improving collectively and striving to enhance their baseball skills daily.

With a 22-14 record following the All-Star break, the Nationals have been on a winning streak. Their success can be attributed to emerging talents like Josiah Gray and Abrams, who are seen as foundational pieces for the team’s future.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “From die-hard fan to tormentor: Josiah Gray’s Yankees connection

  1. Again, much like players like Ken Singleton and Rod Carew before him, the Yankees passed. Sucks when that happens. What could’ve been.

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