Ryan Kalish was a high school star at Red Bank Catholic High School in New Jersey, about an hour’s drive from New York City. He even attended some World Series games at Yankee Stadium when he was a kid. When discussing the Big Apple, he seems to know what it’s all about.
But nothing can prepare the 22-year-old for Friday night, when he will be thrust into a critical Red Sox-Yankees series under the lights in New York.
“I’m gonna be a little nervous,” said Kalish, who has looked completely unafraid in batting .500 (7-for-14) in his first five games with Boston. “It’s New York, my family is pretty close to there. It’s going to be one of those things where you gotta put it aside because it’s just a game. You’ve got to win them.
“I can’t let nervousness affect me, so I won’t. I’m just gonna go out and play my game.”
His game has shown no evidence of nerves. In addition to the fast start at the plate, Kalish has had a few opportunities to exhibit a howitzer of a left arm that manager Terry Francona has already said has the potential to be one of the elite throwing arms in the game.
The skills are all there for Kalish. Playing his first road game on a Friday night in the Bronx is just another step forward. He welcomes everything that comes with it, even the catcalls.
“It’s fun to be heckled. I’m sure they’ll think of something,” he said. “If I’m out there in the outfield it will be interesting to see what’s going to happen.
“Shoot, in high school you get heckled and that’s probably a little bit worse because they know more about you.”
Some of those who know so much about him will be in attendance. Kalish will have some family and friends on hand. When they arrive, they will be seeing him in a slightly different environment than the RBCHS playing fields.
“It’s gonna be crazy,” he said. “It’ll be fun.”