Todd Frazier’s first game in pinstripes was memorable for a somewhat ignominious reason, hitting into a triple play in his first at-bat Tuesday night.
The 31-year-old’s second home game was much more in line with how he might have dreamed it, hitting his first home run as a Yankee in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s 9-5 victory over the Reds at the Stadium.
“That’s baseball in a nutshell,” said Frazier, who went 2-for-3 in upping his OBP to .360 in seven games since joining the team. “You hit into a triple play, you do some funky stuff and you think you’ve seen everything in baseball and then you do something like that. Just very excited, very happy.”
The third baseman, a product of Toms River, New Jersey, who grew up going to Yankees games at the old Stadium, called it a “memorable” home run, and said he would have liked the ball to commemorate it.
But it wasn’t to be.
“It was a little hassle to get it, and I’ll leave it at that,” the good-natured third baseman said. “So I don’t think I’m getting it. I wish I did [get it], but it is what it is.”
A club source said the fan who caught the ball in the leftfield seats was part of a group of four men, estimated to be in their 20s, who said they were from New Jersey.
The Yankees offered the group a chance to meet Frazier after the game, four autographed baseballs, four tickets to a future game, a tour of the Yankees clubhouse and an opportunity to take pictures on the field.
The source said the fan initially seemed amenable but ended up having a conversation with someone on his cellphone, with that apparently convincing him the ball was worth quite a bit of money.
At which point the Yankees walked away.
Needless to say, the ball, representing Frazier’s 165th home run, likely will not fetch much in the memorabilia marketplace.
One fruit Frazier was able to enjoy from his home run was having a nickname bestowed upon him by radio broadcaster John Sterling.
Told it was “the Todd Father” and “in Todd we trust,” Frazier laughed.
“That’s pretty sweet,” Frazier said. “I know he said ‘Downtown goes Frazier’ for [Clint Frazier].”
Which, according to Todd Frazier, ESPN’s Jack Edwards said when he hit a home run during the Little League World Series in 1998.
“Either way that’s pretty cool,” Frazier said. “Another little check mark, one of those things you can always look back on. Having a guy of his stature to say it is pretty nice.”