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Day Juan for Soto in the Bronx – Juan Soto makes debut in pinstripes

Juan Soto's debut in pinstripes on Friday afternoon, April 5th, at Yankee Stadium - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Juan Soto soaked in every second of his debut in pinstripes on Friday afternoon during the New York Yankees’ home opener, getting embraced from all of Yankee faithful, while returning the favor by sending love back their way.

A beautiful scene at Yankee Stadium, one that will get even louder and more thrilling throughout the course of the season, as the 25-year-old Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic superstar, is just starting to get his feet wet on East 161st Street and River Avenue. 

“It was pretty exciting to see all those fans,” Soto said of the sold-out crowd after his pinstripes debut, along with the energy coming from the bleacher creatures located in right field. 

“Every time they’re out there, you’re always trying to do something to get them going because when they get going, they can help the team to get going.” 

As it was time to go, with a first pitch at 1:05 PM ET, Soto took his time to jog out to right field, appreciating and relishing the moment. Those bleacher creatures were waiting for his arrival, and halfway into his jog, appeared a Dominican Republic flag, waved by a fan in section 105 — right above the Bank of America sponsorship sign, two sections from the right field foul pole. 

“It means a lot,” Soto said about the D.R. flags in right field. “We all know where we’re coming from. Getting to see them up here is just great. It’s a great feeling.”

A beautiful scene. Better yet, a Soto Photo! 

Yankees’ Juan Soto (2021 National League LatinoMVP Award winner) hands a young fan a foul ball that rolled down the right field line during the 3rd inning of Friday’s home opener against the Blue Jays in the Bronx – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

“The Dominican population in the Bronx and in New York, it feels like a match made in heaven,” stated Yankees manager Aaron Boone on Soto playing at Yankee Stadium in pinstripes. “I can’t imagine him not being beloved.” 

Yankees captain Aaron Judge added: “That was incredible, just from the very beginning — the roll call, even when he (Soto) ran out there in right to start the game there in the top of the first — the fans gave him a huge reception. The fans are excited. This is a generational player. Getting a chance to have him in pinstripes, and have him on our side, it’s pretty special. So I think they’re just welcoming him to the Bronx, and showing him some love.” 

Marcus Stroman living his dream 

The Long Island kid Marcus Stroman, a Medford, NY native, of Puerto Rican heritage from his mother, got to live out his childhood dream on Friday in the Yanks’ home opener, pitching for the team he grew up rooting for. The 32-year-old right-hander, nicknamed Stro-Show, became the seventh New York-born pitcher in Yankees franchise history to start a home opener, and was dominant in the process — tossing six shutout innings with three hits allowed, one walk and struck out six Blue Jay hitters. 

Marcus Stroman signed a two-year with the Yankees over the offseason, making for his childhood dream to come true: pitching for the New York Yankees – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

“Yeah for sure,” Stroman responded when asked if the reality lived up to what he dreamt about. “I didn’t eat all last night and this morning. I was just very very anxious, excited to get to the park. I’m very grateful and thankful for the home crowd. The energy was incredible. And that’s something that I love. I feel like I am able to pick myself up in those moments. Just to feel the love from the crowd, that meant everything to me.” 

He later added: “Every kid that has dreams of playing baseball, especially in pinstripes, you imagine yourself pitching at home on Opening Day for the New York Yankees. It was everything and more it lived up to be. I’m thankful for the crowd, the energy. Having my family here. It meant the world to me.”

Stat Watch: The two-time All-Star has yet to surrender an earned run this season across his first two starts — 12 innings overall with 10 strikeouts. 

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email:

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