While this Derek Jeter moment didn’t necessarily give him fame, it is one that is still discussed for years to come for the New York Yankees.
Just as the baseball world knows Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles know another famous name: Jeffrey Maier.
The classic inside-out swing of Jeter was helped out by Maier, a fan in the right field stands during a cold October night of baseball.
Game One of the American League Championship Series is less remembered for the Yankees’ win than it was for Maier reaching over the wall to snag Jeter a home run.
Down by one run, Jeter’s “home run” tied the game and forced the game into extras before Bernie Williams ended it with a real home run in the eleventh inning.
Once again, this was not Jeter’s finest moment. But that wasn’t his fault. He was playing to his own strength by forcing it to right field and playing to the Stadium’s strength of that short porch in right.
Unfortunately, a fan got in the way.
Who’s to say that Tony Tarasco would have actually caught the ball. Why didn’t he jump? Why was he waiting for the ball to come to his glove? We can watch replays all we want but the truth is, history worked out in favor of Jeter.
It was an incredible moment. A rookie shortstop carrying the team on his back and making something happen. Jeter, AL Rookie of the Year, showed up and hit the ball.
What happened next was just fate.
It would be so easy to blame Maier but Jeter showed what we was made of. This was his first season in the league, the first in the playoffs. He took a questionable moment and turned it into a highlight.
That’s just Jeter, ladies and gentleman. Whether that specific hit was a home run or an out, he still proved that he was ready to take on the major leagues.