There will be a large Long Island contingent at Yankee Stadium for this week’s Angels series.
Call it the O’Hoppe Effect.
Popular hometown player Logan O’Hoppe of Sayville will play his first game at Yankee Stadium for the visiting Angels. The 23-year-old starting catcher is hitting .244 and is tied for the team lead in home runs with four. He also has 11 RBIs and is tied for second on the team with a .533 slugging percentage, just a few points behind Mike Trout.
“I’m very excited to see him play in his first game at Yankee Stadium,” said Tom Downey, a regional scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and a close family friend. “Logan is one of the first position players in a long time to play at the major-league level from Long Island. He’s doing what every kid dreams about. It’s exciting for him and for our baseball community on Long Island. I hang on every pitch when he plays whether he’s up at bat or behind the plate.”
The former Newsday Player of the Year led St. John the Baptist to the Catholic League championship in 2018 and was chosen by the Phillies that June in the 23rd round of the MLB amateur draft.
He has enjoyed a quick ascent to the big leagues. The Angels acquired O’Hoppe in July 2022 for outfielder Brandon Marsh, and the trade made O’Hoppe the Angels’ top prospect.
“Logan has a couple of hundred friends going to the games at Yankee Stadium,” said Ralph Dalton, the director of athletics at St. John the Baptist, who also has served as an assistant coach for the baseball team for 35 years. “They bought out a few sections. We’re going with everyone on Thursday because we have two high school baseball games on Tuesday and Wednesday. Everyone is so excited to see him play.”
Dalton, who traveled to see the 6-2, 185-pound O’Hoppe play against Oakland in his MLB debut last Sept. 28, said he has watched O’Hoppe play “every inning of every game.”
“Wait, let’s make that every pitch of every game,” he said with a laugh. “We are so proud of him and all that he’s accomplished. We stay in touch, but we all understand how busy he is and that he’s working. He’s a phenomenal role model and everything we want our student-athletes to be like — such a humble, lovable young guy.”
Downey also went to see O’Hoppe’s debut.
“Me and his twin sister Melanie went to the first game wearing our O’Hoppe jerseys,” Downey said, again laughing. “We had the jerseys [custom] made at the stadium before they ran out of O’s. The next day everyone else showed up to see him play and wanted to have O’Hoppe jerseys made but the store ran out of O’s. They were sold out because everyone buys Ohtani jerseys. Ohtani merchandise sells out every day.”
It has been quite the whirlwind for the kid from Sayville. He has remained humble and polite despite all the media attention that surrounds a team loaded with some of MLB’s biggest stars in Trout and Ohtani.
“My family is happy, healthy and proud, which makes me the best version of me,” O’Hoppe told Newsday before the season. “My goal for this year is to keep that focus to better my club and myself.”