Sunday afternoon, June 11th, I was watching the New York Yankees play the Baltimore Orioles on the YES television network. The previous evening the Yankees had overwhelmed Orioles pitching in a 16-3 win. It was a new day on Sunday and the Orioles were looking to avoid getting swept by their AL East rivals, the New York Yankees.
Chris Tillman was on the mound for the Orioles and it looked like he was going to cruise through the first inning. He got through the first two batters, Brett Gardner and Aaron HIcks; both Yankees broadcasters, Michael Kay and Paul O’Neil, commented that Tillman had difficult first innings throughout the whole season…and prophetically, following getting two outs, the Yankees bats caught on fire once again, and scored five runs in the first inning.
In order to give Masahera Tanaka an extra days rest, the Yankees went with a bullpen committee pitching staff to face the Orioles. The Yankees were taking care of things and had a comfortable 7-3 lead in the bottom of the 6th inning when…. Aaron Judge took a 1-1 pitch from Logan Verrett to left field…no, not just left field…he crushed the ball well over the bleachers and deep into the stands…but, it’s the sound of the ball coming off the bat…that’s not the sound of a 390 ft home run. I was watching the game, when suddenly Verrett made a pitch…and the sound of the ball hitting the bat was indescribable…
I couldn’t believe what I had just seen; a ball driven so far, so deep into the stands!! The broadcasters were almost speechless, the Yankees players in the dugout were in disbelief. Replaying it over and over, there is a sound that you hear, when the bat and ball connect that is so unique, so rarely heard. Wow, just wow.
Back when I was a little guy watching my Yankees, Mantle and Maris…the coverage of baseball was nowhere near the same. There was the Saturday afternoon game of the week…and that was it. You didn’t get to see every game, every day, so you never really knew the true story of the home runs that Mantle and Maris were hitting.
on a Saturday afternoon.