Yelich reconnecting with family on road trip

Yelich reconnecting with family on road trip

SAN DIEGO -- Before Thursday, the only view Christian Yelich had of Petco Park was from the outside looking in.

The 22-year-old Marlins left fielder, who is from Thousand Oaks, Calif., spent time in the San Diego area, visiting with friends. He'd see Petco Park, but never had been inside until the four-game set with the Padres.

Yelich is one of four Marlins from California. The others are Giancarlo Stanton, Casey McGehee and Reed Johnson.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Yelich spent a great deal of time at Dodger Stadium.

Miami's West Coast road trip started in San Diego, and moves on to Dodger Stadium for three games Monday through Wednesday. The swing winds up in San Francisco for four games beginning next Thursday.

"Obviously, it's pretty cool," said Yelich, Miami's No. 1 pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. "I haven't played in any of these stadiums, even being from here. I had a Dodger pre-Draft workout. That's the only one I'd been to."

Yelich's mother and about 10 family members and friends were on hand at Petco Park.

When the Marlins travel to Los Angeles, he anticipates more than 100 of his family and friends to be at the games.

"I'm not leaving tickets for that many," Yelich said. "But it's cool to play in front of friends and family. That's part of it. Anybody that's ever known you is going to be a part of it."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter