That’s another regular season in the books for the New York Yankees and the memories are plentiful and exciting.
Twenty-seventeen was certainly a year for the books. The best part? It isn’t over yet for the New York Yankees.
While there is still ball left to be played to decide who the next World Series Champion is, we can close out the regular season looking back at the incredible moments that made it exciting to tune into every single day.
And this season, there was no shortage of monster home runs (thanks, Aaron Judge), clutch hits and incredible pitching performances. In fact, we got to witness these amazing moments practically every day.
And here they are, heading to a one-game playoff. Maybe this list can also serve as a motivator for the Yankees to win and keep moving along. Even though this is considered a rebuilding year, we can’t say that the Yankees are living up to that title. They are ready to win now.
So let’s take a look at the ten best moments from you Bronx Bombers this season. Warning: You will likely experience cheering, excessive fist pumps and perhaps tears as you relive these moments from the 2017 season.
10. Little Toe, Huge Hit
Ronald Torreyes is known as the “little engine that could.” Well, he did this year. He dominated in his role as a utility infielder, responding to all the needs of the Yankees when called upon.
This moment was particularly incredible for the little guy, as it marked his first walk-off hit of his career. Plus, the excitement on his face and his reaction to the hit was enough to melt your stone-cold heart.
The Little Guy has done so much for the Yankees, including being Didi Gregorius’ right hand man when it comes to celebrations and overall goofiness. You can truly see that this guy loves playing the game, win or lose.
But a win is always better. And this time, Ronald Torreyes secured the victory for the Yankees. Congratulations RoToe!
9. Farewell, Derek Jeter
The Derek Jeter retirement ceremony is something that I’ll remember for years. I will definitely be sitting my kids down and talking about how I witnessed his entire career from beginning to end.
This ceremony brought back memories and recognized one of New York’s most beloved baseball players. Plus, we got to relive the late 90s by seeing all of his buddies from various teams show up for the main event.
Truly, it was enough to make me cry. And I certainly did. Although many of you might not admit it, you definitely did too.
We got to see a legend on the field for the final time. We got to see his number retired. We got to witness history. Thank you, Derek Jeter!
8. City of Cheaters and Shutouts
We all know about the Boston Red Sox scandal with the Apple Watch happened later in the year. But I don’t think their system would have worked against the Yankees when Masahiro Tanaka was on the mound on April 27.
Tanaka went to Fenway and absolutely dominated the Red Sox. Perhaps the most important part of this performance was the fact that he was facing off against lefty Chris Sale.
This shutout was huge in so many ways. It showed to the Yankees that Tanaka can still pitch in big games. It showed that he could shut down solid lineups. Most importantly, it showed that the Yankees have what it takes to hang in there with the heavily favored Boston Red Sox.
This was certainly a game you’ll look back on and say, “well, that was fun.” Thanks to Tanaka, the Yankees recorded their first sweep of the Sox this season.
7. Hicks Robbing Slams
Please sir, may I have another? Aaron Hicks may only have played part-time this season but he absolutely made an impact when he was out there. In fact, he committed grand larceny against two potential grand slams.
And he sure looked good doing it.
The first victim was Luis Valbuena in Los Angeles this June. Valbuena gave it a ride to tie the game and Hicks saved the lead and Michael Pineda by making a gravity-defying leap to steal the home run. Second came Wilson Ramos, who looked to put the Rays up 4-0 early with a shot to right center. But nope, Hicks was there and ready to steal the show with his incredible catch.
So not only did Hicks rob a grand slam once, he did it twice in one season. Now THAT is definitely worthy of celebration.
6. Pitches AND Punches Thrown in Detroit
There was only one brawl this season but it was certainly a doozy. Do I approve of fights? No. But looking back, it was certainly a huge moment for this team.
They showed they’ve got some fight in them, especially since it was caused entirely by Miguel Cabrera. But Austin Romine didn’t back down, ripping off his mask and getting right in Cabrera’s face when it got clear that something was going down.
While suspensions were handed out like candy, the Yankees luckily avoided any major losses. Even though fights aren’t great, this one will be shown on televisions for a long time.
5. Aaron Judge Owns The Citi
There are so many Aaron Judge home runs to admire…52 to be exact. Choosing just one was a challenge but the Judge absolutely launched this baseball and that is worthy of admiration once again.
Judge CRUSHED the ball into the THIRD DECK at Citi Field. Bet those fans didn’t think they would get a souvenir and the Judge delivered.
He hit it so hard that Yoenis Cespedes didn’t even bother to turn and look. He didn’t even move, just let the ball sail where it may.
Just…wow. And we got to see that 52 times throughout this season! Remember when fans were begging for Aaron Hicks to start over Judge because of last year’s .179 performance? What about now?
4. Thumbs Up for Thumbs Down
Perhaps the most entertaining celebration of the season came from the thumbs-down guy at Citi Field. The reaction to Todd Frazier’s three-run shot went viral and the Yankees caught wind of it. So, naturally, they took the gesture and made it into an ironic celebration.
It started with Frazier giving the thumbs-down after a RBI single and snowballed from there. Before long, everyone was doing it; after a big hit, in the dugout, behind players in interviews.
T-shirts were made (I definitely have one). Pictures were taken. The Yankees milked the thumbs-down gesture for all that it was worth. And fans fell for it, hook, line and sinker.
You have to admit, it’s pretty darn awesome. Never have I seen a team have so much fun. This has been incredible to watch.
3. Aaron Judge Puts On A Clinic
The All-Star break featured quite a few Yankees but one stole the spotlight in particular. Aaron Judge delivered the shots heard ‘round the world when he absolutely dominated the Home Run Derby.
To see a rookie win a Derby is incredible. To see a rookie do so in that dominating fashion? You’ll likely never see that type of performance for the rest of your life.
Judge proved he is the real deal, smacking home runs and breaking records. This was probably the most fun for fans AND players to watch together. What a mesmerizing performance.
2. Gardner’s Improbable Home Run
Brett Gardner is the longest tenured Yankee on the squad and he didn’t remain there because he can’t hold his own. He did just that against the Chicago Cubs in the Windy City.
This game has been played on repeat in my household simply because it is a lesson on how to never give up. Gardner was down to his final strike and he absolutely demolished a home run to take the lead.
Words can’t even describe how incredible this moment was, for both the Yankees and Gardner himself. He showed this ball club that it ain’t over until it’s over. Being a gritty veteran, he knows how to get the job done.
That brought about the clutch side of Gardner, as he continued to do it all season. However, perhaps his biggest moment was right there in Chicago. And, trust me, he knew it too.
1. It’s Always a Holliday In The Bronx
The greatest moment we were able to witness this season actually happened quite early. The Yankees completed an incredible comeback against the Baltimore Orioles and Matt Holliday capped it off with a home run.
They were down 9-1. They clawed back slowly but surely. Aaron Judge hit a home run. Jacoby Ellsbury added a grand slam in the seventh to bring the Yankees within three runs. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Starlin Castro launched a home run from ONE KNEE to tie the game and force extras.
And because the story must have a happy ending, Matt Holliday took an 80 MPH pitch into the Yankees bullpen for the 14-11 victory in favor of the Yankees.
This was the first major comeback of the season and it showed that the Yankees were ready to truly compete. The combination of rookies and veterans worked for them and that game gave us a taste of what to expect from this team all season long.
The emotions I get from watching the recap are simply incredible. The Yankees took a sure loss and transformed it into an exciting victory that instantly became a Yankees Classic. Trust me, this will be a game you’ll want to tell your kids about.
So, there you have it. 2017 was full of ups and downs for the Yankees but they’re not done just yet. Maybe Tuesday will end up being another classic that we can watch for years to come. Nice work in the regular season, Yankees! Now it’s time to kill it in the playoffs!