Whatever you want to say about the end of the season, you can’t say there was a shortage of exciting and dramatic home runs. Aaron Judge hit quite a few on his own, and a multitude of Bombers had key home runs throughout the postseason. In order to look back on the good times the Yankees had in 2017, we’re going to look back at the five most memorable home runs of the year.
1. May 5th: Brett Gardner vs. Hector Rondon
I distinctly remember watching this game on my phone, trying to squeeze the last few bars out of my battery on the way to a wedding as the video feed on the Fox app buffered and jittered as it adjusted to the cell reception. Nonetheless, I caught this moment, and it was the first (and certainly not the last) to make my jaw drop. It’s funny watching it months later, but it was really a harbinger for things to come. All the way back in May the Yankees were hitting home runs to suddenly seize the lead, and if you told me they’d be doing it late into October, I would be even more slack-jawed than I was then.
2. September 25th: Aaron Judge vs. Trevor Cahill
After an incredibly long slump in which he hit just three home runs in the month of August, Judge rebounded in the final month of the season with 15 dingers. Two of them came on this same day, both tying and eclipsing the rookie record for home runs.
3. October 3rd: Didi Gregorius vs. Ervin Santana
I remember this moment because I was there. I felt utterly defeated going into that inning; I had seen this movie before and I was fully preparing myself mentally for a game in which the Yankees would meekly collapse. Instead we got this moment, unarguably the best moment I have seen at a live sporting event. It set the tone of the entire postseason to come, and my guess is that when Gregorius gets his Yankeeography, this one will be front and center.
4. October 8th: Greg Bird vs. Andrew Miller
Man, what a moment this was. The Yankees were facing elimination once again and their bats looked incredibly feeble, but one swing by Greg Bird against the best reliever in baseball gave them all the lead they needed. It was an incredible home run, and it made me feel like pulling for Bird all these months paid off.
5. October 16th: Todd Frazier vs. Charlie Morton
Sure, the series did not go the way Yankees fans wanted it to, but this play at least made it a series. Once again against the wall, Todd Frazier’s home run was the start of an eight-run breakout and a three-game winning streak that put the Yankees on the brink of a pennant. It didn’t end in one, but this was very much a big moment in that quest.