On this day in 1996, New York Yankees history was altered, for the better, in Game 1 of the ALCS by 12-year old Jeffery Maier.
In Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship series, the Bombers found themselves down 4-3 as the game progressed into the bottom of the eighth.
With one out and Armando Benitez on the hill, Derek Jeter was able to tie the game up at four with a solo blast to right. He did, however, need a little help.
As the ball was descending from the Bronx sky, it seems as though O’s right fielder Tony Tarasco could have made the play if not for 12-year old, and new Yankees’ hero, Jeffery Maier.
Maier reached his hand out into the field of play and literally pulled the ball into the crowd. Umpire Rich Garcia ruled the play, which was clearly fan interference, a home run.
Got to give credit where credit is due. Most people would have thrown fists or at least kick some dirt at Rich Garcia but somehow Tarasco kept his cool and only freaked out, a lot.
New York went on to win the game thanks to a Bernie Williams walk-off blast in the 11th in an eventual 4-1 series win.
Christian Kouroupakis covers the New York Yankees for ESNY. Interact with him and view his daily work by “liking” his facebook page and follow him on Twitter. All statistics are courtesy of Baseball Reference.com unless otherwise noted. Don’t hesitate to shoot him an email with any questions, criticisms, or concerns.