Dante Jr.: I got lucky

March, 31, 2012
Modesty is a wonderful quality in a person and judging by Dante Bichette Jr.'s first post-game interview, he has it in abundance.

The Yankees first pick in the 2011 draft (51st overall), the son of former major league slugger Dante Bichette, who is a close friend of Joe Girardi's, belted the first two pitches he saw in his first two spring training at-bats with the majr league club out of the wind tunnel known as Osceola County Stadium.

The first may have needed a little help but the second created a jet stream of its own, sailing over the centerfield fence, 410 feet away, and over the batter's eye some distance beyond that.

"For sure, I was lucky to make contact with the first two swings and they went pretty far,'' said Bichette, who will not turn 20 until September 26. "I''m happy with that. I was just trying to hit the ball, that's all."''

Bichette grew up in Orlando and lives about 20 minutes away from the ballpark he hit those pitches out of. In fact, Osceola is familiar turf -- it was the home field for the travel team he played on as a kid.

After both of his home runs, he was greeted at the top step of the dugout by Girardi, who high-fived him, and afterward, both Mark Teixeira and Raul Ibanez went out of their way to shake his hand in the clubhouse.

"It couldn't have gone any better,'' said Bichette, whose parents, his 14-year-old brother Bo --"The better one in the family, for sure,'' he said -- and an uncle were in attendance. "It was all kind of surreal.''

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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Masahiro Tanaka
12 2.51 135 129
BAJ. Ellsbury .282
HRM. Teixeira 17
RBIM. Teixeira 48
RB. Gardner 64
OPSB. Gardner .789
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135