The Aaron Boone Game: Six Years Later
Last Friday was the six year anniversary of Aaron Boone’s walk-off home run against the Red Sox to end Game 7 and the 2003 ALCS at the Stadium on October 16, 2003. Holy frijoles (as my friend Ken Fang of Fangs Bites would say), has it really been six years? Damn time flies. Of course the Yankees haven’t won an ALCS since. But that’s not the point.
I was at the Stadium that October night, sitting in the second to last row of the Tier Reserve section behind home plate. It had been a long game (as most Yankees-Red Sox games are) and nobody had left. There were some random Red Sox fans in our section, including one girl with a cowboy hat (really? a cowboy hat? at a baseball game? come on). They may have left. I don’t really remember. The place was ready to explode when Tim Wakefield entered the game in relief (knuckleballer in relief? Yes please!) to pitch to Aaron Boone leading off the bottom of the 11th inning, tied at 5-5.
When Boone took his swing, and the ball headed out to left field, we all knew it was gone. The crowd went absolutely nuts. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before or since (not even A-Rod’s game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th of ALDS Game 2 or Mark Teixeira’s pie shot two innings later to win it). The Stadium shook. Strangers hugged strangers. High fives everywhere. Screams. Ohmygods. Holy S*&Ts abounded. This video taken by a fan in the bleachers pretty much sums it up.
If I could bottle the feeling in the Stadium at that moment – pure unadulterated joy and euphoria, mixed with just a hint of surprise and a dash of enmity (it’s the Red Sox, come on!) — I could sell it and retire a wealthy woman. It was that good.
Thanks Aaron Boone (h/t Grady Little and Tim Wakefield) for giving Yankee fans that incredible memory. I just gave myself the chills writing this post.