Big men silence the noise. When shouts and cheers and derision come from every corner, elite athletes find a calmness that shouldn’t exist.
In his major league debut as a Yankee, Anthony Volpe navigated shouts and obstacles and showed off another tool in his toolbox: a muffler.
A day that began around 7:40 a.m. was defined by the noise—deafening, at times—when Yankee Stadium could welcome its new shortstop.
Volpe, who walked in three plate appearances, stole a base and made several solid defensive plays, made noise that opposing Knicks center Mitchell Robinson teams floaters.
“What was cool, really this Opening Day, was that I didn’t feel like it was just me,” Volpe said Thursday after a 5-0 win over the Giants that was mostly about him. “Everyone, I thought, was so excited to get out there and just start playing.”
Volpe called it “the most fun I’ve ever had on a baseball field, period”. [or] anywhere. Here’s a look at the biggest day of the 21-year-old’s life:
7:40 am: Wolpe, who was raised in Watchung, NJ, wakes up after spending the night in New York — which means he actually did manage to sleep in. “At least a little,” she said with a smile.
8:45 am: Volpe arrives at Yankee Stadium, where he takes a picture of the stadium and sends it to his parents.
He stops at the team cafeteria and has some eggs for breakfast.
9:25 am: Volpe briefly stepped into a crowded clubhouse – filled with media members – to grab a batting glove. He was stopped briefly by two reporters and he politely answered a few questions before walking out.
He takes a couple of dozen steps to the indoor cage, where he takes his first batting practice of the day.
10 a.m. in Morristown, NJ: The bell rings to signal the end of second period at Delbarton School.
The baseball team for which Volpe starred until as recently as 2019, when the Yankees drafted him in the first round, packed on a coach bus and headed for The Bronx.
However, poorer children were still expected to have a viewing party at school.
“It’s great. Seeing someone you’ve worked with before and went to your high school on the biggest stage in Yankee Stadium — knowing it’s his dream — it makes all of us a little more Makes it real,” said second pitcher and center fielder Ryan Holman.
“We practice on the same field he’s walked on,” said senior pitcher Dominique Tse, sitting in the left field bleachers. “Now he’s here at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. It’s one of the best things that ever happened.
10:20 am: Volpe emerges from the tunnel that leads into the Yankees’ dugout. He takes a seat and flashes a smile as several photographers shine their cameras at him.
As Volpe performs his feat, Matt Hyde, the Yankees’ Northeast field scout, who played a large role in Volpe’s drafting and signing out of high school, approaches, and the two share a hug.
10:21 am: Volpe broke loose with Josh Donaldson, the two took a catch behind the first-base line.
After his arm, Volpe warmed up his hands: Infield coach Travis Chapman fed him ground balls through a machine. After a few minutes, Volpe gets up and runs to shortstop, where he and Isiah Kenner-Falefa alternate.
10:48 am: Another round of batting practice, this time on the field.
After 10 minutes, Volpe tries to make his way to clubhouse security, but dozens of media members and cameras block him, asking if he can take a few minutes to answer questions.
Yankees officials intervene and say no, and Volpe disappears down the hallway.
Around 11: The Volpe family arrives. About all of them, from all parts of the family tree. He makes no guesses, but they are out in full force.
“I’m going to lowball close to 60 [Volpes in attendance]said Tony Granello, who is first cousins with Volpe’s grandfather.
Once word spread that Volpe had camped out to the club, Ticketmaster was mobbed for some, while Isabelle Volpe, his mother, organized ticket-acquisition for others.
A Volpe fan section formed on the first deck behind first base.
“It’s real because our whole family, we’re Yankees fans. Anthony’s great-grandfather — we’re all Yankee fans,” said Granello, who took the train from his Brooklyn home and invited a reporter over for meatballs. “We’re about to cry.”
April Smith, Volpe’s cousin, was twitching herself.
“He’s genuine. He’s caring. He’s very humble, and he doesn’t have an arrogant bone in his body,” Smith said. “I see him at games, and kids want him to sign the ball—he doesn’t turn anyone down. He has a heart of gold.
12:52 pm: Volpe, as in no. The 9 hitter is the last player still in the dugout as the Yankees are introduced.
He comes running to roar. In the Volpe family section, clapping is done and hands are joined with hearts.
1:11 pm: The roll call of bleacher creatures reaches Volpe, who turns toward the right-field bleachers, pulls up his jersey and kisses the interlocking NY on his chest.
“I remember [Aaron Judge] Did last year,” Volpe said.
1:22 pm: Judge smashes a first inning home run to center field and returns to the dugout, where he stands with Volpe on the top step. The two talked for several minutes.
Judge said, “He was asking me how the pitches looked.” “I was just trying to give him a little scouting report.”
1:52 pm: “Leading for the New York Yankees. Shortstop. Anthony Wall-Pe.
The crowd stands up.
Volpe works to a full count, and several people in his family’s cheering section plead with the fans to get louder. He sees ball four, and literally jumps for joy at the block.
1:56 pm: The speedy Volpe inspires a pickoff attempt from Giants ace Logan Webb – while Volpe stands on base.
Two pitches later, Volpe stole his first career base. Volpe, who had stranded at second, was hit by Aaron Boone’s fists upon returning to the dugout.
2:35 pm: Wilmer Flores sends a sixth-inning ball into the shortstop hole, and Volpe runs a few steps to his right.
He fields, relays to second, and DJ Lemahieu fires up Anthony Rizzo for Volpe’s first double play. Volpe pumps his fists.
3:43 pm: Ron Marinacio attacks Thiero Estrada to secure the win. Volpe meets LeMahieu behind second base, and a handshake line is formed.
Volpe makes a beeline for the dugout hallway but is stopped by a Yankees official, who sends him to an MLB Network interview.
3:59 PM: Volpe meets his parents and some family members outside the clubhouse. They hug, and smiles appear on their faces.
When asked later about the day’s gifts, he referred to the photos he had just posed for.
“Probably the one I just took out with my family,” Volpe said. “I would be nowhere without him. All my success, all my achievements, it is because of him.”
4:19 PM: After the media session, Volpe walks back to the clubhouse, where senior advisor Omar Minaya meets him and calls him to a side room. Volpe emerges with the scorecard of the game.
4:21 PM: No longer wearing his jersey but still wearing his cap, Volpe disappeared from the clubhouse.
Earlier in the day, he wasn’t sure about his plans for after the game, but he knew who would be there: “It will be something with my family.”