Braves’ top prospect Vaughn Grissom homers, impresses in first major-league game

Atlanta Braves' Vaughn Grissom celebrates while running the bases on his two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Boston. At right is Braves third base coach Ron Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

Atlanta Braves' Vaughn Grissom celebrates while running the bases on his two-run home run against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Boston. At right is Braves third base coach Ron Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

BOSTON – Three years ago in rookie ball, Vaughn Grissom hit his first professional home run at JetBlue Park, which is fittingly dubbed “Fenway South” because it somewhat resembles Fenway Park, including a replica of the Green Monster.

So after Grissom got the call from the Braves on Tuesday night, he pictured something: That would be cool, he thought, if his first big-league home run came at Fenway Park, just like when he homered at the ballpark’s little brother in Florida. But he stopped himself there.

“I was like, ‘Nah, don’t do that, you’re going to jinx yourself,’” Grissom said.

Instead, he manifested it. You couldn’t have scripted it any better.

In his MLB debut on Wednesday, Grissom launched a massive home run over the Green Monster for his first major-league hit and homer in an 8-4 win over the Red Sox. Right when he pulverized the baseball, Grissom flipped his bat with swagger and walked a few steps as he admired the ball that flew into the Boston night and landed on Lansdowne Street.

“It was pretty surreal,” Grissom said. “What a moment. To see it actually go out, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’”

Grissom went from playing with Double-A Mississippi in Tennessee to batting at Fenway Park. Facing Boston reliever Darwinzon Hernandez in the top of the seventh inning, Grissom saw a 94-mph fastball and hit it 412 feet. It left the bat at 101.7 mph.

“Obviously you’re going to remember your first hit, your first home run, but then again, doing it at a place like this is really special,” Braves starter Kyle Wright said. “He’s a great kid. He’s funny. He’s just got a good attitude, plays the game really hard.”

Grissom, who hit ninth and played second base, went 2-for-4 with a home run and a single. He drove in two runs, scored two more and stole a base.

Grissom is the first Braves player to homer in his debut since Austin Riley in 2019, and the 13th overall to do it. Grissom is the first Brave since at least 1901 to blast a home run and steal a base in his debut. He’s the first Braves player to record multiple hits in his debut since Dansby Swanson in 2016.

“He was bouncing around out there,” manager Brian Snitker said. “What a novel idea, having fun playing baseball. It was good. It was a great first night for him.”

The ball landed on the street, but it will be in Grissom’s possession. The people who had it agreed to trade it for something.

After Grissom homered, he trotted around the bases. Once he rounded third, he did a big clap.

“It was like a ‘We made it’ moment, I guess,” he said. “Like a ‘We did it’ type of feeling.”

He had family members from Florida in attendance, including his mom, dad, stepdad, girlfriend and aunt. They all witnessed a special night for one of their own.

For Grissom, the fun night began when he ran out to second base for the first time.

“That was crazy,” Grissom said. “I just took a second to myself to just really look at everything and process what was going on, and just do my best to just take a picture in my head. But you really don’t know until you actually do it. You can try to prepare yourself and all that, but it’s nothing like how you think it’s going to be.”

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