NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 29: The New York Yankees high-five Erik Kratz #42 (C) after his at-bat where he attempted to bunt, allowing teammate Clint Frazier #42 (not pictured) to score on a wild pitch during the ninth inning against the New York Mets at Yankee Stadium on August 29, 2020 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees won 2-1. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

New York Yankees catcher Erik Kratz was emotional after he was asked about his experience working with the team’s young Hispanic pitchers.

Career backup catcher Erik Kratz loves being a New York Yankee, and now we have proof.

Speaking to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, Kraz was moved to tears when asked about working with prospect Deivi Garcia and other young Hispanic pitchers.

Kratz has spent most of this shortened season at the Yankees’ alternate site in Pennsylvania with the team’s youth. He has obviously gotten to know them closely, especially Garcia. The veteran backstop went viral when going out for Garcia’s MLB debut last weekend when he excitedly said, “I can’t wait to play catch with my son!”

Kratz and Garcia were also caught on camera sharing a hug after the youngster’s successful start.

And despite his age, Erik Kratz only has 324 games in the majors under his belt. This means a lot of time in the minors helping develop young pitchers. Though he was never a star on the major league level, it doesn’t matter. This is something Kratz clearly takes seriously and enjoys as part of the job.

“I love seeing what they can do,” Kratz said. He added a lot of these players also leave their families behind at home, which must be hard. He just wants to be there for them even if his Spanish “isn’t that good.”

Long story short, any MLB team would be lucky to have an Erik Kratz-type in the dugout. It’s rare for any team to have a player who not only has played for so long, but who still cares after so many years.

Erik Kratz will be behind the plate later tonight when Deivi Garcia starts Game 2 of a doubleheader against the Baltimore Orioles.

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.