A lifelong Yankee fan, a Bronx native and a perfect stand-in for those whom you don’t necessarily think about when you consider the usual inhabitants of the palatial new stadium, Velazquez drove in four runs in a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox, ending the third contest on a spectacular defensive play in the hole, which should stand the test of time as a highlight of this era.
Two weeks ago, Velazquez was a 27-year-old local with three RBI in his career.
Dreams really do come true sometimes, and we always prefer when those dreams involve beating Boston.
After the game, Velazquez was rightly presented with the team’s “championship belt,” which hopefully didn’t upset Andrew Heaney too much.
According to the man himself, he delivered a rousing speech, and ended it with an emotional capper.
Yankees fans should universally love Andrew Velazquez.
We have no idea how long Velazquez will be along for the ride. When Gleyber Torres returns, there’s a fairly easy one-for-one conversion to be made here, especially considering how well Tyler Wade has been playing.
Tyler Wade: Untouchable. What a world.
Does any of that really matter, though? Certainly not right now. Yankee fans do not do a spectacular job living in the moment. The road ahead is daunting. Nobody thinks the Red Sox have been extinguished for good. But what we just watched was spectacular, and the charge was led by a BX native who had no path to playing time at the MLB level just two weeks ago.
As a young boy, Velazquez admitted on Wednesday that his family wasn’t exactly circling Yankees-Red Sox games on their calendar, opting for cheaper tickets for their nights at the ballpark.
Presumably, he watched the height of the rivalry from his family home, within shouting distance of Jason Varitek, Alex Rodriguez and the cast of characters that reignited this battle in the early 2000s.
On Wednesday night, that kid almost singlehandedly plummeted Alex Cora, the hateful villain of this new iteration of the rivalry, into purgatory. The Red Sox were dominating the division three weeks ago and are now rudderless, banking their wins against bad teams and struggling whenever the tough get going.
They could’ve gotten on track this week, but instead ran further off the rails, thanks to a kid who’s dreamed about this moment for decades, then improved upon his own dreams this week.
Championship Belt earned.