Excitement sets in for Yanks' Russo

Excitement sets in for Yanks' Russo

NEW YORK -- You might have expected Kevin Russo to race to the newsstand on Saturday morning and see how the tabloids played his first Major League hits and RBIs, which helped the Yankees post a 2-1 victory over the Mets in Friday's Subway Series opener.

But Russo abstained from both the newspapers and television highlights, keeping his priorities in order. Before reporting to Citi Field on Saturday, the 25-year-old rookie had two goals to accomplish -- finding a lunch spot and replenishing his dwindling clothing supply after last week's callup.

"I was more thinking about what time I needed to get here so I wasn't late," Russo said. "I guess I wasn't expecting [the coverage], but like I kept saying last night, it was exciting. I'm glad I got the hit."

The ball Russo connected with in the third inning on Friday for his first big league hit was returned to the dugout and tucked away for safekeeping. Head athletic trainer Gene Monahan will soon work his penmanship magic and provide Russo with a souvenir he can keep for the rest of his life.

"I'll probably look at it for a while," Russo said. "I might keep it at my Mom's house, let her keep it and show it to people. I'm sure she'd love that."

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Russo was the first Major Leaguer to drive in all of his team's runs in a victory in his first start since Montreal's Shane Andrews on April 27, 1995. No Yankee had done it since Archie Moore on Oct. 4, 1964 against the Indians.

Russo's first hits -- and an outfield catch on the first Mets batter of the game -- were witnessed by family members in attendance.

Russo was born in West Babylon, N.Y., and even though he grew up in Boulder, Colo., he said that he has spent a lot of time on Long Island. His brother, Ryan, and 8-year-old niece, Deandra, flew to New York for Friday's game.

"I wasn't nervous," Russo said. "I just tried to tell myself I was going out and playing baseball. I didn't try to do anything special, I didn't try to do too much. I got prepared the same way I usually do."