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#42 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 15, 2012
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Giambi gets a hero’s welcome after his blast (AP)

Jason Giambi | Ultimate Grand Slam | vs. Minnesota Twins | 5/17/2002

In a 5 hour, 45 minute slugfest that saw each team amass 20 hits, the Yankees prevailed 13-12 in 14 innings in one of the most rare and thrilling finishes in Yankee History.  Trailing the Twins 9-8 in the bottom of the 9th inning Bernie Williams tied the game with a solo blast off Eddie Guardado.  The Yankees were unable to win it in regulation and a scoreless 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th followed as Friday night turned into Saturday morning.  In the top of the 14th the Twins were finally able to break through, tagging Sterling Hitchcock for 3 runs on 4 hits.  The 39,470 that began to file out of Yankee Stadium had no idea what was about to unfold.

With Mike Trombley on the mound the Twins looked to wrap up their 26th victory.  The inning began with a single by Shane Spencer, but any hope of a miraculous rally for those faithful few that remained was surely snuffed out when Alfonso Soriano hit a fly ball to the left fielder.  However, Derek Jeter followed with a single and Bernie Williams walked on five pitches, bringing up Jason Giambi with the bases loaded and a steady rain falling on the Bronx.  On the first pitch the Yankee first baseman saw from Trombley, the 492nd of the game, he rocketed a fly ball to right-center field, the Yankees sixth home run of the day, ending the marathon in electrifying fashion.  It was the 22nd “Ultimate Grand Slam”–a game-ending grand slam with a team down by 3 runs–in Major League history, and only the 2nd in Yankee history.  The only other time the Bombers saw such a finish was 77 years earlier on September 24, 1925 when Babe Ruth finished off the White Sox 6-5.  Said Giambi after the game, “I was just trying to keep the rally going, hit a single.  I just got a ball out over the plate.”

We thought we had this one in the bag, but once again the Yankees showed they can come back and bite you.

| Torii Hunter, Twins’ center fielder |

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