My parents and I have been to countless Yankees-Orioles games over the years, but none more memorable than one in the middle of August of 2003.
In the bottom of the 12th, the Yankees lead the Orioles 5-4 at Camden Yards. Mariano Rivera had blown the save in the 9th and was long gone. That left Jeff Nelson on the mound to close it out for the Yanks. Nelson got the first 2 outs before walking Jack Cust. The next batter, Larry Bigbie, lined a hanging slider into right center where it was cut off by Karim Garcia. He quickly fired it to the cut off man, Alfonso Soriano. As Soriano looked to throw home to gun down the tying run, he stopped, because Jack Cust had fallen down rounding 3rd. Soriano fired it to Aaron Boone at 3rd, who quickly threw it home to catcher Jorge Posada, and the Yanks had Cust in a run down. It looked as if the game would inevitably end with an easy tag out of Cust, but as the rundown unfolded, and Posada threw back to 3rd, he followed his throw, leaving home plate wide open. The whole stadium realized it, and while the O’s fans got louder, I remember my dad clear as day yelling “There’s nobody covering home!!”
What happened next will forever be a blooper on an MLB network special. Cust fell down again as he raced for home, and then after a futile attempt to crawl to the plate, Aaron Boone caught him and tug him for the final out of the game. Yanks win, and I am given a memory to share with my parents that I’ll never forget. Just one of the so many reasons I love the game of baseball.