Home News Meet the Yankees fan that hauled in Anthony Volpe’s first career homer

Meet the Yankees fan that hauled in Anthony Volpe’s first career homer

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Five minutes before he dove onto the baseball that had been hit for Anthony Volpe’s first career homer, Marvin Castillo bemoaned never securing a home run ball in about 25 years of attending Yankees games. 

So when opportunity finally knocked Friday night, there was no stopping Castillo, who was at Yankee Stadium with his wife, Andrea, and was in his seat when Volpe led off the top of the first inning against the Twins with a 394-foot blast to left-center field. 

Wearing a pinstriped Yankees jersey with Aaron Judge’s No. 99 on the back, the 30-year-old Brooklyn resident emerged from the scrum as a fan seated directly behind him raised his hands to his head and opened his mouth in disbelief. 

“No one caught the ball and it kind of rolled to my right side. I just went for it,” Castillo told The Post shortly after gaining celebrity status among fellow fans Section 136. “It’s amazing that I was just saying that to my wife and he hits it out here. I was so excited to get a ball that I didn’t even realize it was Volpe and his first home run until people started yelling, ‘Hang on to that ball!’ ” 

Castillo quickly handed over the baseball to the stadium officials, who put together a fan-experience package to get back Volpe’s keepsake.

Castillo said he was offered autographs, photos with Volpe after the game, a clubhouse tour and tickets to a future game with a chance to watch batting practice on the field. 


Anthony Volpe launches hit first career home run.
Michelle Farsi for the NY Post

Marvin Castillo (r.) poses with Anthony Volpe after the game.
Marvin Castillo (r.) poses with Anthony Volpe after the game.
Photo courtesy of Marvin Castillo

“My wife had said, ‘Maybe we could leave the game early to go look at sheets,’ ” Castillo said. “We’re not leaving early now!” 

Actually, Castillo joked, his next shopping trip might be for a Volpe jersey.

Volpe, the New Jersey native who grew up idolizing Derek Jeter, needed 14 games to hit his first home run, but he did it leading off an inning, just as Jeter did on Opening Day in 1996, though Jeter was batting ninth and was playing his 16th MLB game. 


Marvin Castillo (r.) poses with Anthony Volpe's home run ball.
Marvin Castillo (r.) poses with Anthony Volpe’s home run ball.
Ryan Dunleavy

Volpe said he “blacked out” running the bases. 

“I have to get [the ball] inscribed,” Volpe said before meeting Castillo. “Definitely have to give a shout-out to the family that gave it up.” 

“I’m super excited for his career,” said Castillo, who was on hand for Volpe’s MLB debut. “We showed him so much love on Opening Day. Happy to have a young, native guy at shortstop.” 


Anthony Volpe rounds the bases after hitting his first career home run.
Anthony Volpe rounds the bases after hitting his first career home run.
Michelle Farsi for the NY Post

Castillo’s phone quickly was flooded with pictures and videos of the moment.

His ears quickly were flooded with advice from fans reminding him that baseball might be worth a lot of money one day if Volpe goes on to have the kind of long, successful career that is expected of No. 1 prospects. 

“As a diehard Yankees fan, I’m not going to take that away from Volpe,” Castillo said. “I let the Yankees know from jump that I was going to give it back to him.” 

With the ball in one hand and his phone in the other, Castillo called his older brother. 

“I wouldn’t be a fan if it wasn’t for him,” he said. “I was about six when we came to my first game and Joe DiMaggio was driving around on a cart. But this is my best moment at the stadium just to feel the love and excitement from other Yankees fans. Anyone who has been to a game here knows you can come by yourself and leave with 1,000 new friends.”

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