Angels News: Playing At Yankee Stadium Is ‘A Special Time’ For Logan O’Hoppe
MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Yankees
Apr 18, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Logan O’Hoppe (14) follows through on an infield single against the New York Yankees during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels’ trip to Yankee Stadium marked a homecoming of sorts for Logan O’Hoppe, who grew up on Long Island and cheered for the New York Yankees as a child.

O’Hoppe is in the midst of his first full MLB season and has quickly established himself as a key part of the Angels lineup. The 23-year-old went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first start against the Yankees on Tuesday.

Many of O’Hoppe’s family members and friends attended the game to watch him in person, and the group intentionally left one seat empty in memory of the catcher’s Aunt Dana, who passed away in 2015, via Sarah Valenzuela of the L.A. Times:

The O’Hoppe family contingent has one seat they purchased but intentionally left vacant for Tuesday’s game.

It’s for Logan’s Aunt Dana, who was not a blood relative but a close friend of the O’Hoppes, who died in 2015 from lung cancer. An important person in Logan’s life, Aunt Dana was also one of his biggest supporters and cheerleaders of his pursuit of a career as a baseball player.

When O’Hoppe was called up to the Angels for the first time last season, he recalled a touching message he received from his aunt:

Last year, when Logan got his first call-up, Angela told the Los Angeles Times one of the last messages Aunt Dana gave Logan:

“She told Logan from the hospital bed, and he was only 15, she said, ‘My superstar nephew. You have all the tools to make it. And I will be watching from heaven. My nephew, starting catcher.”

O’Hoppe called Yankee Stadium a special place and has enjoyed playing in front of his family and friends:

“Coming here, it’s different,” O’Hoppe said before the Angels’ 5-2 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday. “You play for Aunt Dana … you play for everybody that you’ve loved and that’s touched you and the people that are still here with us. You play for them too. It’ll be a special time.”

O’Hoppe will have one more opportunity to play at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday before the Angels return home for the start of a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.

O’Hoppe has gotten off to a tremendous start this season as he is batting .250/.315/.521 with one double, four home runs, 11 RBI and 0.5 WAR in 14 games.

Logan O’Hoppe could have bigger role in Angels lineup

O’Hoppe has batted in the No. 8 and 9 spot in the Angels lineup so far, and manager Phil Nevin indicated he may eventually move him up if he continues to be successful.

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