Carl Yastrzemski last played at Fenway Park in 1983, his final season in a 23-year major-league career spent entirely with the Boston Red Sox.
While speaking with reporters in the afternoon, the 29-year-old rookie was asked how long Fenway Park had been in his sights.
"For life," Yastrzemski said. "You know, it's always a dream to play here when you're a kid growing up in New England. But I kept it very focused on just surviving one more day in the big leagues. Because there had been a lot of turnover on our team and I knew that they were looking for production. So in order to make it to Boston, I had to play well."
He has. In 96 games with San Francisco, Yastrzemski's hit .265/.324/.509 with 19 home runs and 51 RBIs.
The 80-year-old Hall of Famer joined his grandson at Fenway prior to Tuesday's game. The elder Yastrzemski said the only comparable thing to seeing Mike play in Boston was his own 1967 season, according to Henry Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle.
That year, the elder Yastrzemski hit .326/.418/.622 with 44 home runs and 121 RBIs, winning the American League triple crown.
Meanwhile, his grandson added that memories of being at Fenway with his family for the World Series and the 1999 All-Star Game "overwhelmed" him when he entered the park as a player.
"To be here and have made this trip is special," Mike Yastrzemski said, according to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe.
It almost happened sooner. A former draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles, Yastrzemski reached Triple-A in 2016 but never got the call to the majors. Instead, he stuck around at the highest level of the minors until the Giants acquired him in a trade before this season.
He said Sunday that plenty of family members will be on hand to see his homecoming, possibly even in excess of 40.
"It’ll probably be more than that," Yastrzemski said with a smile, according to Maria Guardado of MLB.com. "But I'm not leaving tickets for them."