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74° Good Afternoon

Yankees' Voit turned 'boo' chants to 'Luke' chants and hopes to hear his name in AL wild card game

Yankees first baseman Luke Voit runs in from

Yankees first baseman Luke Voit runs in from the outfield during the American League Wild Card workout day at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

You could say Yankees first baseman Luke Voit is fired up for Wednesday night’s American League wild-card game. But that would be understatement.

No one seemed to be having a better time on Tuesday as the Yankees worked out in advance of the big game.

"I’m just having a blast,” he said. “It’s super-exciting for us, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

It has been a whirlwind for a guy whom the Yankees acquired from the Cardinals in late July, only to watch him go 3-for-17, get booed by fans and then send him down to Triple-A Scranton by mid-August.

At that point, there was no mistaking whether they were chanting “boo” or “Luke.” Since his return the tide has turned from the former to the latter. In 39 games he hit 14 home runs and drove in 33 runs for the Yankees.

“It was definitely boos the first time, but luckily I changed that around and got back to who I was, and that’s all positive 'Lukes' now,” he said.

When he takes the field and comes to bat on Wednesday, he said he is “going to have a big smile on my face, and I hope the 'Luke' chants are loud as hell . . . It’s the coolest feeling in the world. I hope I get the loudest one tomorrow night. It’s something no one else gets, and it just makes me want to play harder for those guys.”

Like many players, Voit is wary of the one-and-done format, saying that given the Yankees’ 100-win season, “we shouldn’t be in the wild card. But that’s part of it.”

He hopes playing in the Bronx will make the difference.

“It’s going to be nuts,” he said. “I know it will be. I think it’s going to be tough for Oakland. I hope they bring it as much as possible, because you know, that’s why we got this home-field advantage. That’s why we wanted these guys behind us.”

New York Sports