Editor’s Note: As part of WFAN’s 30th anniversary celebration, from May 29-June 9, we asked you to vote on the best local sports moments over the past 30 years. Over the course of two weeks, we are revealing the top-10 vote getters.
NEW YORK (WFAN) — Aaron Boone’s time with the Yankees didn’t last all that long.
But he left quite an impression.
Boone was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds on July 31, 2003, in a typical move a contending team usually makes prior to the trade deadline. The veteran infielder went on to hit .254 with six home runs and 31 RBI in 54 regular season games with the Bombers.
But he’ll forever be known as the player that extended the Red Sox’s misery just a little longer. Boston was in search of its first World Series championship since 1918, and for much of the 2003 ALCS it looked like the New York’s equal, forcing a deciding game with a 9-6 win in Game 6 at Yankee Stadium.
Then in Game 7, the Red Sox carried a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. The Yankees, however, rallied for three runs, thanks in part to Boston manager Grady Little’s decision to stick with starting pitcher Pedro Martinez a couple of batters too long.
The game dragged on until the bottom of the 11th when Boone, leading off the frame, hit the first pitch he saw from Tim Wakefield into the left-field stands, setting off a wild celebration that shook the city and the surrounding areas.
The Yankees would go on to lose to the Florida Marlins in six games in the World Series, a defeat that effectively ended a run of dominance that featured the Bombers winning four world championships and appearing in two other Fall Classics in eight seasons.
Boone was released by the Yankees on Feb. 27, 2004, after tearing knee ligaments in a pick-up basketball game. He was eventually replaced at third base by Alex Rodriguez via a trade with the Texas Rangers.
The Red Sox ended the “Curse of the Bambino” the next season, rallying from a 3-0 series deficit in the ALCS to stun the Yankees, before sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
But, hey, Boone had his day, and New York sports will never forget.