OAKLAND, Calif. — Angels rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe’s first big-league home run was a three-run drive in the fourth inning that broke up a scoreless game on Sunday.
Mike Trout hit a two-run shot the next inning and Shohei Ohtani connected one pitch later en route to a 6-0 win over the Athletics.
With two outs and in his 22nd at-bat, O’Hoppe drove a 1-and-1 fastball from Ken Waldichuk over the wall in left-center, a 391-foot shot with a 101.5-mph exit velocity.
O’Hoppe — a former St. John the Baptist High School star and Newsday Player of the Year — could be seen smiling and sporting an NBA Golden State straw hat while celebrating in the dugout afterward with Ohtani.
O’Hoppe’s six RBIs are the most for an Angels catcher in the first three games of a season and are tied for the most by any catcher in the initial three games of a campaign over the last 20 years.
“Holy MOLY,” mother Angela said via text message from back in Sayville after flying a red-eye home from the Bay Area overnight in order to teach school Monday morning.
“O’Hoppe Day,” tweeted the Angels with video of his homer, stealing a line from the catcher’s close-knit family in a play off the “Oh Happy Day” church hymn they love. The O’Hoppes even had “O’Hoppe Day” T-shirts made in celebration of O’Hoppe’s father, Michael, achieving remission after he fought for his life and survived non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from July 2021 through a stem-cell transplant early last year.
They found “HOPE” on Aug. 2, 2021 — Angela’s 50th birthday, the mom shared — from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center oncology team in New York “that it wasn’t a death sentence” after the original doctor gave Michael seven to 19 months to live.
“Words can’t describe it. Not too long ago I wasn’t sure if I’d be here,” Michael O’Hoppe said by text message Sunday. “I am here and enjoying every minute of it. Beyond grateful.”
Logan O’Hoppe later singled. He is scheduled to catch again in Monday’s series opener at Seattle.
At 23 years and 49 days, O’Hoppe — a 23rd-round draft pick by the Phillies in 2018 acquired in a trade last Aug. 2 — became the youngest catcher in Angels history to start Opening Day.