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Gerrit Cole will begin his second season with the New York Yankees on Thursday in the season opener against the Toronto Blue Jays — but for the All-Star pitcher’s dad it will be an extra special day.
Cole, who signed with the team in December 2019, said it will be the first time his father, a life-long Yankees fan, will get to see him play in the Bronx, dressed in pinstripes.
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“It’s going to be pretty special for him,” Cole said Wednesday, via the New York Post. “I can’t imagine the feeling. I can’t imagine what he’ll be feeling. It was nice to get him into the playoffs last year and see a postseason start in San Diego. But this is the mecca. This is Yankee Stadium. He’s going to be pretty fired up.”
Cole’s father, Mark, was unable to attend any regular-season games last season because of the pandemic. This time, he and nearly 11,000 other fans will be sitting inside Yankee Stadium as he throws the first pitch of the season.
“We’ll have a small little group,” Cole said of his family attending the game. “But it’s a special group.”
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Mark Cole famously brought his son, then 11 years old, to the Yankees’ 2001 World Series game where he was pictured holding a sign that read: “Yankee Fan Today, Tomorrow, Forever.”
New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole, center, holds a sign he used as a young Yankees fan, as he is introduced as the baseball clubs newest player during a baseball media availability, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019 in New York. He is joined by team owner Hal Steinbrenner, left, and his wife, Amy Cole.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
He brought that same sign with him to his introductory press conference with the Yankees after he signed nine-year, $324 million deal in December 2019.
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Perhaps the sign will make an appearance on Thursday, but one thing is for sure: it’s all business once Cole takes the mound.
“I may take a peek up there [at my family] after I’m done. But we’re all business before I get taken out of the game.”
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