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#44 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 14, 2012
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A-Rod stares at the Yankee dugout after his blast (Getty)

Alex RodriguezALDS Game 2 | vs. Minnesota Twins | 10/9/2009

In the bottom of the 9th inning the Yankees trailing 3-1, things did not look promising, especially with Joe Nathan on the mound.  The tall righty recorded 47 saves while maintaining a lean 2.10 ERA during the 2009 season and had a chance to even the series for the Twins before a return trip to Minneapolis.

Mark Teixeira led off the inning with a single to right bringing Alex Rodriguez to the plate, the Yankees’ slugger with a checkered playoff past.  Coming into the series he was hitless in his last 18 postseason at bats with runners in scoring position, but with one swing, he shed years of October frustration.  On a 3-1 pitch A-Rod blasted a fly ball to right-center that landed in the Yankee bullpen, tying the game at 3.  The second A-Rod hit the ball his reaction said it all.  Far from showing disbelief or unbridled excitement, A-Rod simply stuck his fist up and looked at the Yankee dugout with the cool detachment of an executioner.  It was a warning to the baseball world that A-Rod was on the warpath, as he would go on to finish the 2009 playoffs with 6 home runs and 18 RBIs, just a single RBI short of tying the all-time record.  Teixeira would win the game in the 11th on a solo shot to left that bounced off the top of the wall and over for a 4-3 win.

Teixeira had the chills. Rodriguez had a smile that said it all — a satisfied look after putting years of postseason failure behind him.

| Associated Press |

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