Although he was only a Yankee for less than one season, Aaron Boone’s legacy will last a lifetime. Not only was he responsible for one of the greatest home runs of all time, but if not for his misfortune of tearing up a knee in an offseason basketball game Alex Rodriguez wouldn’t be a Yankee.
It’s a sad, sad day for the baseball world as the game lost a third-generation All-Star, and a good guy. His numbers might not be that great, and he did go on to hit only .143 in the ’03 World Series, but he will be forever remembered for prolonging the greatest curse ever…if only for one more season. To add to the awesomeness of The Homer, Jeter told him in the 8th inning, “Don’t worry, the ghosts will come out. They always do.” You can’t make that stuff up. Derek Jeter: soothsayer.
I will never forget where I was on October 16, when Aaron John Boone pounded the shit out of Tim Wakefield’s offering into the left field seats to open (and close) the 11th inning of Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. The shot, that sent the Yanks to the Fall Classic (which ended on a sour note), will live in my memory forever. Thank you Aaron Boone and I’m sure you’ll never have to pay for another drink in any New York bar again. Especially not if I’m there.
In non-Yankees-related lure, he was the first player to come back from open-heart surgery. Plus, he was a part of the only infield in MLB history to be comprised of two sets of brothers, as he and brother Bret along with Stephen and Barry Larkin played the final game of the 1998 season for the Reds. As if that wasn’t enough, he also slugged the final dingy at Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field) in 2002. Perhaps most importantly: we have the same birthday! So don’t forget to send him a card on March 9…he’s earned it.
So today we salute you for all your heroics, in pinstripes and out of them. Good luck in all future endeavors and I can’t wait to hear you as an analyst on ESPN. God bless you, Aaron Boone…or as you’re referred to in Boston: Aaron F’ing Boone. It takes a special player to earn that middle name.
Ramiro Pena doesn’t deserve to rock the 19.