DENVER (CBS4)– This week’s New York Mets vs. Colorado Rockies series is a family reunion of sorts bringing a father and son together who both played for the team at different times in their careers.
Rockies first base coach Eric Young can look across the field and see his son Eric Young Jr. playing for the Mets.
This isn’t the first time they’ve gone up against each other.
Young Sr. recalled a game when he was playing for the LA Dodgers and Young Jr. was a bat boy.
“The most important moment, I think, is having my son pick up my bat after I hit a homerun. And coming around and giving me a high five. I think that right there, that was a special moment for me as a dad,” said Young Sr.
“You’ve still got that picture up,” said Young Jr.
“I remember him saying, ‘I want to play baseball and be a major league player.’ I knew the desire to be that was going to happen,” said Young Sr.
“And I made that decision going to a Mets game,” said Young Jr. “He was with Milwaukee at the time and he was playing against the Mets. I got drafted the night before and I came up to the hotel room the next morning and I said, ‘I think I want to play baseball. Let’s make this happen.'”
Young Sr. also talked about similarities between his playing style and his son’s.
“When you talk about the speed game, the ability to hit the ball in the gap, and I would say occasional pop, occasional pop, but I would say it’s very similar,” said Young Sr. “I didn’t really push baseball on him but you could just tell he had it in him to play.”
Even though Young Jr. decided to play baseball as a career while watching a Mets game, he had a lot of exposure to the Rockies as a boy.
Young Jr.’s father was an original member of the Rockies in 1993 until he was sent to the Dodgers in 1997.
“Growing up we had the Rockies stuff all over the house. Now we have my stuff included in the house and now he’s back as a coach. The Rockies organization has been very good to the Young family, that’s why we give everything we have,” said Young Jr.
The Rockies drafted Young Jr. in the 30th round in 2003. He was brought up to the majors in 2009. That’s where he stayed until being traded to the Mets last season.
Now Young led the league last year in stolen bases with a combined 46 bases between the Rockies and Mets.
When asked if it’s strange to see each other across the field playing against one another, Young Jr. said, “Personally, no. It’s a blessing to have us both be able to go in each day now and put on big league uniforms. It’s huge not only for us but for our families.”
“I think it’s very special and unique because you don’t have this father-son in a while,” said Young Sr. “To see him doing it and defy the odds… I’m just so proud that I know he’s going to continue to do that.”
“You never know when it’s going to end and you have to embrace every moment that we can get together like this,” said Young Sr.
When asked if he has a particular moment that stands out in his memory, Young Jr. said, “For me personally our two games we played against each other in spring training. That doesn’t happen.”
“I can’t even describe what was going through my head. I think every dad would love for their kid to do the same thing they do and be able to talk about the same thing and actually be on the same field,” said Young Sr. “Just a proud dad but this is like Father’s Day for me.”
Young Jr. said coming back to play at Coors Field does have a special feeling, “This series, coming back here, this is my first time seeing him put the Rockies uniform back on since he left. To kind of see him come full circle where it started and now he’s coaching, it’s huge.”
While reflecting on his memories of Coors Field, Young Jr. said he loves playing in New York, “It’s great. Being from Jersey it’s great. I see a lot of my family.”
Produced for cbsdenver.com by Jennifer McRae