Yankees phenom Jasson Dominguez might have a lot of free time on his hands these days as he recuperates from a gutting Tommy John surgery, but at least he's putting it to very good use.
Dominguez burst onto the scene in unparalleled fashion last September, keying a three-game sweep of the ALCS-losing Houston Astros with a home run in his first at-bat. It only took him a couple of seconds to find the Crawford Boxes, something every other Yankee from 2017-2023 has somehow found impossible (THEY'RE RIGHT THERE!).
Unfortunately, his four homers in 31 at-bats are going to have to tide his fans over for quite a while; Dominguez will likely be able to return in June or July, but given his limited MLB experience, the Yankees probably will not turn the center field keys back over to him right away. Expect a similar late-season impact in 2024 to the one he made in 2023, with New York having to find new and innovative ways to cover their empty outfield spots this spring.
In the meantime, Dominguez's 2023 cameo will continue to burn bright, indelibly etched in the minds of his myriad fans. Some of them probably followed his minor-league journey from Hudson Valley to Somerset. Some of them probably pore over his Baseball America writeups. And one of them -- a very lucky one -- got a birthday surprise from the man himself this week.
Somerset local Matt Slattery posted on Twitter this week (not calling it X, sorry) a video of his daughter unwrapping a very special autographed and personalized Dominguez jersey. Take a quick peek. What do you notice, amid the daughter's joy? The "Starr Insurance" patch, which means -- probably -- this was game-issued?! Hoo boy.
Yankees rookie Jasson Dominguez gifts autographed jersey birthday surprise
Hold onto that one. Frame it. And keep this video safe, too, nobody knows when Twitter's going down.
We don't know how Slattery pulled it off. We don't know how he kept it a secret, either. It does seem, though, like the Somerset Patriots were probably involved, considering they tweeted the video a few minutes later (and because Slattery and his daughter appear to be superfans/the very people the game of baseball persists for).
UPDATE: Slattery himself reached out and confirmed the Patriots were not responsible; this good deed was all Dominguez.
This incredible example of baseball giving back will bring a tear to the eye of any dad, non-dad, baseball freak, normal guy, and wistful dork. Just amazing. Hopefully, she keeps it safe and gets another one to wear for Dominguez's return.