The Tuesday Discussion (All Day Long) – My Favorite Home Run (Ethan Semendinger)
The date was July 20, 2009, and along with my Dad and two of my grandparents, we all were headed off to the Yankees game that night. But this story starts long before hand.
When I was first learning about baseball and playing wiffle ball in my backyard, in an effort to be different than my two older brothers (or maybe it’s just what was most natural to me) I started to swing as a left-handed hitter. As an energetic kid, I probably didn’t understand sitting still in the batters box and would often run after the ball while swinging, not unlike Ichiro Suzuki, to which my Dad would jokingly say to me. Simply put, that’s where my fascination with Japanese baseball players began.
Then, in 2003, the New York Yankees signed this guy, Hideki Matsui. Ever since, he’s been my favorite player.
Now, skip ahead about 6 and a half years. It was an annual Christmas gift that my Dad would buy my grandparents season tickets next to ours in the last row of the Upper Deck right behind home-plate (to this day, still the best seats you can get). Tonight was the night I was lucky enough to go too.
The game started out poorly, with a 1st inning solo home run going the way of the visiting Baltimore Orioles as Nick Markakis took Andy Pettitte deep. Luckily, the Yankees were able to tie it up in the 3rd with a solo shot of their own off the bat of…Eric Hinske? Wow.
Then, each team traded 3 to 5 hitter innings. A big scare after a Brian Roberts double in the 6th, which placed runners on 2nd and 3rd, took Andy Pettitte out of the game, but the lead runner was thrown out at home on a ground-ball which ended the inning.
Then, we ventured slowly to the 9th inning. Tied 1-1. And up to the plate steps Alex Rodriguez. The crowd is going insane because you can feel a win was in the air, and who better to bring the Yankees another win?
And then, he grounded out to second on the second pitch. And the stadium died down.
Then, 6 pitches later, Magic:
To this day, it’s the only walk-off I’ve ever been at the stadium to see.
It was awesome and it will always be my favorite home run.