Welcome home (run): White Sox rookie Gavin Sheets goes deep in homecoming game

Gavin Sheets crossed home plate, looked into the first row of stands behind home plate at Camden Yards and saw a group of family and friends — on their feet, of course.

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Gavin Sheets, center, greets friends and family after a game against the Orioles, Friday, July 9, 2021, in Baltimore. The White Sox won 12-1. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

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BALTIMORE — Gavin Sheets crossed home plate, looked into the first row of stands behind home plate at Camden Yards and saw a group of family and friends — on their feet and making lots of noise, of course.

Sheets had a feeling that his father, former major leaguer Larry Sheets, was bursting at the seams in that moment after he homered for the visiting White Sox in a 12-1 victory over the Orioles Friday night.

“My dad was the first person I saw when I touched home,” Sheets said. “I think that was a cooler moment for him than any time that he played.

“Just seeing the joy that he had there, it was a special moment for both of us.”

It was the third homer of the season for Sheets, who has provided a steady left-handed bat with power since getting called up from Triple-A Charlotte on June 29. He is batting .273/.375/.636 and has reached base in all 10 games while seeing time in the outfield, first base and designated hitter. He has driven in nine runs and scored five.

“The smile on his face was all any of us needed,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “He was just so happy, so thrilled to do it with the family there. We all celebrated with him.”

Sheets is from nearby Lutherville, Md. Larry Sheets played eight seasons in the majors, including six with the Orioles. He batted .316 with 31 homers and 94 homers for the O’s in 1987.

There were Sheets fans in different sections of the park, which had an ample number of vocal Sox fans in attendance.

“It was just so cool to see guys that supported me since high school,” Sheets said. “They showed up tonight and even made some shirts with ‘Sheets’ on it,” he said.

Sheets, 25, was a second round draft choice out of Wake Forest in 2017. The 6-5, 230-pounder was batting .319/.360/.500 with four home runs and 20 RBI in 23 games at Charlotte.

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