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#51 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 12, 2012

Knoblauch reacts after his ball leaps out of Jordan’s glove and into the stands (Getty)

Chuck Knoblauch | World Series Game 3 | vs. Atlanta Braves | 10/26/1999

Chuck Knoblauch averaged only 10 home runs a year during his 12-year Major League career, yet he had a proclivity for hitting the big longball when the Yanks needed it most.  In a must win game for Atlanta, Tom Glavine had given his team exactly what they needed.  Despite giving up solo home runs to Chad Curtis and Tino Martinez, the Braves veteran had pitched 7 strong innings leaving Bobby Cox with the difficult decision of whether to enlist his beleaguered bullpen to finish the game or stay with his crafty starter.  His decision to send Glavine out to pitch the 8th inning would prove to be the wrong one.  With New York trailing 5-3, Joe Girardi led off the inning with a single to right, brining the Yankee second baseman to the plate.  One year earlier Knoblauch had tied Game 1 of the World Series with a 3-run home run in the 7th inning, and this year’s script would read much the same way.

The 2-0… swung on and hit in the air to right field… Jordan back, to the track, to the wall, he leaps… it is… GONE!  CHUCK KNOBLAUCH has tied the game with a 2-run home run over the right field wall!  CHUCK KNOBLAUCH!  And the ball game is tied at 5!

| John Sterling’s call |

Knoblauch poked an opposite field fly ball that seemingly hung in the air for an eternity.  Unsure if he had gotten enough of the pitch, Knoblauch walked several steps down the first base line with the bat still in his hands while watching right fielder Brian Jordan track it down.  The ball landed in Jordan’s webbing but was jarred loose as his body connected with the wall, sending it into the greedy hands in the first row.  Knoblauch tossed his bat and floated around the bases after another clutch postseason hit. He would later say of the experience, “That’s the loudest I personally have ever heard the Stadium when I was out on the field, running around the bases.  My ears were literally ringing because it was so loud.  It was a lot of fun for me, I had a big smile on my face all the way around the bases.”

Chad Curtis would drive a nail into Atlanta’s coffin, winning the game on his second home run in the bottom of the 10th inning for a 6-5 come-from-behind victory.  The Yanks would win the next day for their second consecutive World Series sweep and 25th Championship.

I was hoping it was going to get further in the seats.  I know Jordan’s a tremendous outfielder.  I was hoping it would get up far enough.  Luckily it bounced the right way.

| Chuck Knoblauch |

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