Moments later, two fans also changed the prevailing Yankee fan narrative (temporarily) when a Blue Jays supporter handed the ball off to a child in a Judge shirsey, who reacted with an emotional overload typically reserved for welcoming back soldiers from war.
The moment $213 million can’t buy (or $250 … or $275 … ) has been viewed thousands of times, restoring faith in humanity for all those who need a short internet video to restore their faith in humanity.
All snark aside, it’s a legitimately adorable moment of bonding — and it certainly didn’t hurt that it’s been seared into our memory because of all the recent examples of fan fury.
(Also, the Yankees scored eight more unanswered runs, potentially causing some regret for the Jays fan who opened the karmic floodgates.)
That Yankee fan? Nine-year-old Derek Rodriguez, named after … you guessed it! … Derek Dietrich.
Just kidding. His father was raised on Jeter, and he’s been raised on Judge. The shirt is brand new, and you can bet it made an appearance at Game 3 after helping to carry the Yankees through the first two contests.
Yankees fan in Aaron Judge shirt who received home run ball is named after Derek Jeter
And, perhaps someday, young Derek will name his son Aaron — presuming the Yankees and Judge’s camp can come together during a set of semi-contentious negotiations this offseason.
Judge’s value to the team goes far beyond production, but the production has also been spectacular. He’s busted the charts that track hard-hit baseballs, slicing line drives through them every time he steps to the plate these days.
It also can’t be overstated: his home run Tuesday was massive, in terms of both altered momentum and literal distance. What an absurd blast.
Fans everywhere are lucky Young Derek had this moment, but it only came about because a fan in the stands was incredibly kind, and because Judge put enough oomph behind the ball to send it to a different universe.
What will both parties do for an encore?