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#58 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 8, 2012

October 1998 | Yankee fans weren’t the only ones paying attention to Spencer (Sports Illustrated)

Shane Spencer | September Magic | vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays | 9/27/1998

The 1998 season was pure magic from start to finish as the Yanks eclipsed the 44-year-old American League mark for victories in a season, held by the 111-win Indians of 1954.  In the midst of the historic run, a young outfielder turned a September call-up into a chapter for the Yankee record books.  Shane Spencer spent a few short stints on the Yankee bench throughout the campaign, playing in 13 games with the Yanks from April to August but never finding his niche with the team.  His only notable performance was a 2 homer, 3 RBI day vs. the Royals on August 7th, but he was sent back down to the minors less then a week later.

That all changed on September 4th when Spencer went 3-for-4 with a home run at Comiskey Park.  Over the next 23 days he hit another 7 home runs, including 3 grand slams, and registered 20 RBIs.  On the season’s final day the Yanks won their AL record 114th game, thanks in part to a grand slam from Spencer in the bottom of the 5th that pushed the Yankee lead to 7-1 en route to an 8-3 victory.  Spencer finished his season with 10 home runs in 67 at bats, giving him a prorated average of 14.93 home runs per 100 at bats, the highest in Yankee history.  No one can recall that incredible championship year without thinking of Spencer’s Hobbsian September.

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