I tend to mention it a lot, but only because it's true: baseball is weird. Crazy things can happen. The utility infielder can be forced into action and get a game-winning bloop hit off the end of his bat. A terrible player can run into a pitch and crush it into the second deck. That's part of the reason why we love this sport. We've had some instances of such things in the past couple weeks, so I thought I'd ask the PSA staff of some of their favorite moments of that variety.
Q: Last week, Stephen Drew and Garrett Jones were the heroes in a extra-innings win in Seattle. What's your favorite instance of an unlikely Yankee becoming the hero?
BUBBA CROSBY WALK-OFF DINGER
Raul Ibanez's game-tying and game-winning home runs in game 3 of the 2012 ALDS were pretty unexpected. After looking done as a hitter all year and playing some of the most hilariously awful outfield defense in recent memory, the Dark Lord summoned up all the black magic he could muster when called on to pinch hit for A-Rod in the ninth. He sent the game into extras vs. Jim Johnson then in the 12th hit the walk-off against Brian Matusz.
Unfortunately dark wizardry always comes at a price. Ibanez hit another game-tying shot which sent game 1 of the ALCS into extras allowing Derek Jeter to break his ankle and effectively end the good part of his career. Thanks a lot, Raul.
It's gotta be Luis Sojo in the 2000 World Series against the Mets. You don't expect many people to come up with a 2 out, 2-run game winning single in the ninth inning of a World Series clinching victory, but I gotta think nobody would have predicted that one before the World Series. That hit sealed up that Yankees' dynasty, and will never be forgotten. I feel bad for Jose Vizcaino, who won Game 1 with an unlikely walkoff single of his own, because he was totally who I would have picked if not for Sojo.
When Jose Vizcaino singled to win Game 1 of the 2000 World Series in the 12th inning against the Mets. The Viz had been acquired from the Dodgers at mid-season for a washed up Jim Leyrtiz to replace the rapidly deteriorating Chuck Knoblauch at second base. For this moment alone, the trade was well worth it.
It's kind of obscure, but in Game 2 of the 2009 World Series Jose Molina made this nice snap throw to pick a Phillies runner off. If I remember correctly, we were already down 1-0 in both the game and the series and it was a huge momentum shifter.
Gotta be Chase Headley walking off after being traded that day and getting to the game late.
Unsurprisingly, I'm gonna have to go with Luis "Hey Coney, why don't you have a dance?" Sojo in the 2000 World Series against the Mets. Doesn't get much better than that.
Colin Curtis coming in for an ejected Brett Gardner and finishing the at-bat with a grand slam. Because baseball.
Even though its already been mentioned, regular PSA readers might know which one I'm going to pick here. It has to been Luis Sojo's go-ahead hit against the Mets in Game 5 of the 2000 World Series. It was Luis Sojo, of all people, getting what was a game-winning hit on the biggest possible stage. And then add in a fun little Mets error to allow a second run to score. That hit had it all and genuinely is my favorite hit of all-time.
Honorable mention to Scott Proctor for serving up a home run to Evan Longoria to knock the Red Sox out of the playoffs. That was fun.
Those are our answers and now we want to hear from you. What's your favorite instance of a Yankee becoming an unlikely hero?