NEW YORK (AP) — The newcomer in a Miami Marlins uniform sure looked a lot like Christian Yelich — except in the batting cage.
Even though they are more than 20 games under .500 as the season winds down, the Marlins had some fun Tuesday evening at Citi Field. They surprised their Gold Glove outfielder by arranging a meeting with “Saturday Night Live” funnyman Pete Davidson, who certainly bears an unusual resemblance to Yelich.
“That was pretty cool, man,” Yelich said. “They kind of told me that they were going to set it up a few months ago and I forgot. And I quickly remembered when I saw him jogging out there in my jersey. But it was funny. We kind of do look alike. He had a good time, I had a good time. And it was something different that kind of kept the guys loose.”
Davidson dressed in a separate locker room — complete with a No. 21 jersey that had Yelich’s name on the back — and joined the team on the field as giggling players stretched for batting practice.
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“That was awesome. That was the best thing I’ve seen in a long time,” second baseman Dee Gordon said. “And he goes out and gets three hits, so it worked.”
Yelich singled twice and doubled during a 9-3 victory over the New York Mets. He scored a pair of runs and drove in two more.
“They were all telling me like, ‘Hey, your brother’s here,'” Yelich recalled. “I’ve got two younger brothers. I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And then I saw this guy running out in a Yelich jersey and it all kind of hit me and I remembered talking about it with the Marlins people.”
The “twins” have participated in a running joke online this season about how much they look alike.
“After the games, you know, go on Twitter and stuff, ‘Hey, do you know you look like Pete Davidson?’ ‘Like, yeah, I get it every night,'” Yelich said.
Strength and conditioning coach Ty Hill, however, wasn’t in on the gag. So he initially got annoyed and shooed Davidson away while the team was stretching.
“They didn’t tell a single person in the locker room. I mean, nobody knew it. And Ty didn’t know what was going on,” Yelich said. “I kind of remembered and I was trying to explain to him, ‘Hey man, it’s OK, it’s OK.'”
A bit later, Yelich and Davidson chatted cordially and posed for photos. Both in their early 20s, they talked about their rookie debuts — Davidson on “Saturday Night Live” and Yelich in the big leagues.
Davidson then borrowed a glove and went out to center field with Yelich to shag flies.
“He actually caught a fly ball out there,” Yelich said.
The comedian even grabbed a bat and took a few awkward cuts in the cage, managing a foul tip and a soft grounder that drew cheers and high-fives from the Marlins.
After batting practice, Yelich said he showed Davidson around the clubhouse.
“If he can hit like Yelly, we’ll put him in the lineup. We’ll take him,” Miami manager Dan Jennings said, chuckling. “I’ve never seen the spoof, but I heard that they do it on ‘SNL,’ so it’s pretty good. There’s some comparables there, but I’d take our Yelly at the plate.”