Aaron Boone’s seemingly impossible and memorable home run off of Boston’s Tim Wakefield in the 11th inning was voted the Best Moment in Yankee Stadium history, narrowly beating out Lou Gehrig’s “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech.
This is a summary of that moment:
Oct. 16, 2003: In one of the most dramatic endings to an American League Championship Series, Aaron Boone clubbed a knuckleball from Tim Wakefield over the left-field wall in the bottom of the 11th inning, giving the Yankees a 6-5 victory and sending New York to the World Series while prolonging the Red Sox’s ongoing agony. Boston knocked Roger Clemens out with a 4-0 lead and appeared in command with Pedro Martinez on the hill — but five outs from elimination, manager Grady Little stayed with his ace and the Yankees tied the game on a two-run Jorge Posada double. Mariano Rivera stifled the Red Sox for three innings and Mike Timlin kept Boston alive with a scoreless ninth before Wakefield came on in the 10th and held the Yankees down, but it all ended on the first pitch of the New York 11th, when Wakefield’s knuckleball hung and Boone sent the Red Sox home.
I will never forget that night; watching that game and at no point did I ever think that Boone would do anything at the plate. After all, he was not exactly known for his hitting. If you remember I was torn between these two moments and which would be the Best Moment. I ended up voting for the Gehrig speech, but this was a close second.
It is amusing that after that season, Boone never again played for the Yankees. In the off-season, Boone injured himself playing basketball, forcing him to miss the entire 2004 season. Since playing basketball voided his contract, the Yankees dropped him and made a trade for Alex Rodriguez.