During the Yankees' 7-6 loss to the Athletics on Friday night, the cameras spotted a young Aaron Judge fan in the stands.
With his Judge jersey on and mini-bat in hand, the young slugger -- 3-year-old Joe Piombo Jr. -- showed off his batting stance:
The fan's appearance raised a few important questions, though. Like:
- Did this fan magically grow, like a flower from the seed, out of the home run ball that the real Judge hit in the third inning?
- Assuming this fan did just spontaneously burst into existence, how long will it be until he develops into a 18-foot slugger that crushes the ball to the stratosphere? (Obviously, he could homer already.)
- Is he ... is he switch-hitting? Does that mean he'll be even better than Judge?
Turns out, we can answer at least one of those questions: Because the lil' slugger is the son of one of Judge's high school coaches. It's a small world.
Piombo's father, Joe, who was the assistant head coach under his father when Judge played for Linden HIgh School, told MLB.com in a phone call, "Ever since he got drafted, we've been following him. Once he took off, we got our tickets and we had to get [Joe Jr.] some Aaron Judge gear."
Though the youngster may be an ardent Judge fan, "He's bipartisan," Piombo siad. "He just loves baseball ... Doesn't matter who's on, he's just glued to the TV."
Father and son even ran into Judge together this past Fall:
Though he's got a solid swing for just three-years-old and yet to start playing baseball, his father and grandfather aren't grooming him to become a slugger. Instead they want him to "dictate his own path," Piombo said. "Since me and my Dad are pretty involved in baseball coaching-wise, don't want to push him too hard. I see too many kids these days get burnt out. We just want him to enjoy it. And if it takes off, then by all means we'll try and help him get to the next level."