Branford Invading Fenway

Olt stepping to plate in Kansas City (US PRESSWIRE

BOSTON – Mike Olt grew up in Branford, Conn., rooting for the New York Yankees. But Olt, the former University of Connecticut infielder, still has a huge appreciation for the history and tradition of Fenway Park – especially as the Texas Rangers rookie arrived in Boston as a major leaguer for the first time Monday night.

"I've played here, I've watched games here and I've always said I wanted to play in this environment," Olt said before Monday's game between the Rangers and Red Sox. "There's a lot of tradition here. So it's great to have this be one of my first series."

Olt was not in the starting lineup Monday night. He is being used primarily against left-handed pitchers. Rangers manager Ron Washington said Olt will start Tuesday night against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester.

Olt was called up to the Rangers from Double-A Frisco on Aug. 2 and got his first major league hit in his first at-bat that night, a single off C.J. Wilson of the Los Angeles Angels. He has started twice at first and once at third since being promoted and has batted .286 (2-for-7) in his first three games.

At the other extreme, Olt experienced a low moment Sunday when his throwing error in the 10th inning allowed the Kansas City Royals to walk off with a 7-6 victory. When Olt got to Fenway Monday he asked Washington to take the field with him for some extra defensive practice.

"I think he knew that I wanted to get out there and do some sweating," Washington said. "No, he just wanted to work on footwork and stuff like that."

Olt's brothers Brad and Tyler, along with a family friend, had seats behind home plate for Monday's game. Other family members and friends, perhaps more than 20 from Branford, were in the bleachers.

UConnPlaybook.com will have a full story up later. For now, here's a video of Olt talking about his start and playing close to home. The Rangers visit Yankee Stadium Aug. 13-16. Notice in the video some of the Texas veterans were teasing Olt about the media attention and made him lose his train of thought.

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