*In the week until the Yankees open the 2015 season I’ll be counting down, one a day, my personal Top 7 Yankees Moments of all time.*
October 16, 2003 (My Dad’s 53rd Birthday):
“Rivera’s out after three innings, they have to score now or the game’s over.” – My Dad.
“Agreed.” – Me.
“Who leads off?” – My Dad.
“Boone.” – Me
“Just put an out on the board already.” – My Dad.
“Hey, he could hit a home run as a birthday gift to you.” – Me.
“That’s about as likely as me driving to the Bronx and hitting one.” – My Dad.
Yes, the above conversation actually did happen in my living during the commercial break between the top and bottom of the eleventh inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Now, I’m not saying I “predicted” Aaron Boone’s Walk-Off Home Run, because frankly my comment was a sarcastic joke brought on by the hours of insanity that was that game. I’ve never sat through a more stressful sporting event than that Game 7 (the only thing close is Super Bowl 42, and that didn’t end well). Between the Yankees having lost the chance to clinch in Game 6, the early deficit, the despair of being shut down by Pedro, the euphoria of the Jeter/Bernie/Matsui/Posada eighth inning rally, and the stomach twisting dread of extra innings I was practically physically ill when Aaron Boone launched a Tim Wakefield knuckleball into the left field seats and gave the Yankees their 40th Pennant. In retrospect, it’s also the last moment of the Late 90’s/Early 00’s Yankees Dynasty.It capped their 6th American League Pennant in 8 seasons, the last of the Joe Torre era, and the end of a true golden era in New York baseball history. Things have been mostly good, sometimes great since, but never the same.