NEW YORK – It took a while, but 9-month-old Steel McCutchen seemed fine with Dad’s new look.
Andrew McCutchen liked his fit with the New York Yankees, too.
A day after being traded from San Francisco, the former N.L. MVP stepped back into a playoff race Saturday. He drew a warm ovation at Yankee Stadium when he was introduced as the leadoff hitter and right fielder, then struck out in his first two at-bats against Detroit.
At least his grooming got off to a smooth start. Adhering to the Yankees’ strict policy on facial hair, he shaved off his familiar beard before the debut.
His son got a good, close view.
“I just cut it and held him. I was worried about his reaction,” McCutchen said. “He stared at me for about five minutes and touched all of my face and he seemed to be OK with it.”
McCutchen spent his first nine seasons in Pittsburgh – the Steel City – and was traded to San Francisco in January. The five-time All-Star was hitting .255 with 15 home runs, 55 RBIs and 13 stolen bases when the Giants sent him to the Yankees.
“I feel like a lot of baseball players want to at least throw the pinstripes on for who knows how long just to say you did it,” McCutchen said.
“I’m on a new team and we have an opportunity to do big things here so in a sense, yes, I am nervous, but at the same time I look at it as a good thing because that means I care about it,” he said.