FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Hall of Famer in a Red Sox warmup jersey met the Orioles rookie wearing No. 85 behind the cage during batting practice.
They hugged, sharing an embrace and something else – one of the most recognizable names in baseball history.
A couple hours later, Carl Yastrzemski sat in the stands for another special moment on Sunday. His grandson, Mike, played his first major league spring training game and scored a run for Baltimore in an 8-6 loss to Boston.
“It means a lot,” the elder Yastrzemski said. “Just proves that a lot of hard work will take you a long way. He’s worked hard all his life. He wanted to be a player and he put the time and effort into it.”
Carl Yastrzemski spent his whole career in Boston. The younger Yaz was the Orioles’ 14th-round draft pick last June from Vanderbilt.
He hit .273 with three homers and 25 RBI in 57 games in short-season Class A.
The 23-year-old entered as a pinch runner in the sixth inning, scored Baltimore’s first run and then played right field.
When he entered the game and was announced, the crowd quickly recognized the name and gave him a warm ovation. A left-handed hitter like his grandfather, Mike was hitless in his one at-bat.
Despite his pedigree, he said he gets no special treatment.
“The coaches all try and look at me the same as they look at any other player,” he said.
“They don’t take name (into account). If you can’t play, you’re not going to get the chance. If you’re performing, then you’re going to get up.”
The 74-year-old Yastrzemski thought it was for the best that his grandson didn’t sign with the Red Sox.
“Without a doubt,” he said. “I think if he had signed, there would have been a lot of pressure. He likes Baltimore and he’s with a great organization.”
The 1967 Triple Crown winner has been an annual visitor to Red Sox spring training, usually staying on the back fields to work with the minor leaguers.
After the death of his son – also named Mike – at the age of 43 in 2004, Carl began helping his grandson develop his game.
“I didn’t really start working with him until maybe he was a freshman or sophomore in high school,” he said.
His advice before that: “When he was growing up, Little League and stuff like that, go out, swing the bat, and have fun.”
In the 8-6 win Sunday, Boston’s Felix Doubront pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three and giving up a hit.
“This today was pretty simple,” he said. “I was trying to play with my location, throwing first pitch strikes.”
Mike Napoli hit his first home run of the spring for Boston, a two-run shot in the fourth inning to score David Ortiz, who had walked.
Meanwhile, right-hander Jake Peavy, who was scheduled to start Monday in Bradenton against the Pirates, was scratched after suffering a cut on his left index finger from a new fishing knife on Saturday.
Manager John Farrell said Peavy had a procedure on Sunday to clean the wound to prevent infection. Peavy will be idle for the next three days, Farrell said, and could be fitted with padding for his glove hand.
Farrell said Peavy’s timetable to start the season may not be affected if he can get back to his throwing program soon.
Peavy was delayed slightly at the start of camp by irritation on his right ring finger.
YANKEES: Masahiro Tanaka will make his second spring training start for the New York Yankees on Thursday.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi announced Sunday the Japanese star will pitch in the road game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater.
Tanaka threw two shutout innings in his debut Saturday, allowing two hits and striking out three in the Yankees’ 4-0 victory over Philadelphia.
He is set to go three innings Thursday.
ROYALS: Reliever Guillermo Mota is retiring after 14 seasons in the majors. Mota, a non-roster invitee to the Royals camp, did not pitch last season.
DODGERS: Outfielder Matt Kemp was cleared Saturday to take the next steps in his recovery from ankle surgery – and those steps can be taken on the field.
The latest MRI on Kemp’s surgically repaired left ankle taken Thursday was read by Dodgers team physician Neal ElAttrache and Robert Anderson, the surgeon who performed the microfracture procedure on Kemp’s damaged talus bone, on Friday. Kemp was given the go-ahead to increase his on-field activities, including some running.