How DJ LeMahieu has stolen Yankee fans' hearts in just two seasons

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Scott Thompson
·3 min read
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DJ LeMahieu makes throw to first base
DJ LeMahieu makes throw to first base

Two seasons ago, GM Brian Cashman signed a utility player with a high-contact bat to provide quality plate appearances and work as a Swiss Army knife in the infield.

Two seasons later, Yankees fans are infatuated with him.

DJ LeMahieu has quickly become the player every Yankee fan loves after producing at an elite level to be called by his manager and teammates the MVP of the squad since he landed in the Bronx. And he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after signing a new six-year deal with New York.

The feelings were mutual the entire time through free agency. Fans didn’t want him to go. He never wanted another team.

So on this Valentine’s Day, it’s only right that we ask Yankee fans how this affection for LeMahieu came so quickly to the point where fans sweating out his free agent decision, praying he wouldn’t go somewhere else.

For John Olivieri of Staten Island, NY, the love for LeMahieu comes from the player’s simplicity.

“He’s just not a selfish player that puts the team first,” Olivieri told SNY. “He’s a line drive hitter that puts the barrel on the ball, hits to all fields, and is a quiet leader like [Derek] Jeter.”

Dean Roventini from Manalapan, NJ also referenced Jeter when describing the type of impact LeMahieu has on the field and in the clubhouse.

“DJ brings the Yankees consistency and baseball pride that they haven’t had since Jeter,” Roventini said. “Guy can play everywhere, hit anyone and spray the ball all over the field. Can’t forget how clutch he’s been too.”

The clutch factor is something fans relish over because it just seems to always work out in LeMahieu’s favor. In his first postseason with the Yanks, his game-tying homer in the top of the ninth while facing elimination in the ALCS against the Houston Astros was an unreal moment for all fans watching.

The ending was obviously not what they wanted, but LeMahieu’s cool, calm and collected nature at the plate to keep them in the game is a prime reason the organization wanted him back so badly.

“When I found out DJ officially signed back, I was ecstatic,” Brandon Kurtzman of Hoboken, NJ said. “He has become a household name in just two seasons in New York. For me it’s that, throughout all the injuries, he has been a constant on the field every day. So versatile and he makes the play whenever his number is called.”

Of course, hitting over .300, winning a battle title, and as Kurtzman said, making the play whenever your number is called will usually result in fan praise. But the fact that LeMahieu does all of that with the straightest face because it’s business for him at the end of the day has garnered the affection and appreciation far beyond simple cheers.

The fans love that no funny business mentality that is only focused on winning all 162 games and then some. And they’ll be able to see No. 26 doing just that for years to come.