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#15 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 23, 2012
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Curtis celebrates his series-altering blast (Sports Illustrated)

Chad CurtisWorld Series Game 3 | vs. Atlanta Braves | 10/26/1999

After the Yankees took the first 2 games of the World Series in Atlanta, the Braves faced a virtual must-win in game 3 back in New York.  The Yanks were chock full of players with postseason experience with the likes of Derek Jeter, Tino Martinez, Paul O’Neill, and Bernie Williams filling the lineup, but it was Chad Curtis, making his 1st career World Series start, who proved to be the hero.

The Braves played like their lives were on the line in the early going, chasing Andy Pettitte from the game after tagging him for 5 runs in 3.2 innings.  Trailing 5-1 in the 5th, Curtis hit a home run to cut the deficit to 5-2.  Scott Brosius recalled the moment:

He came into the dugout after his first home run and I just hit him a little hit and said, ‘You just hit a World Series home run.’  And he says, still all serious, ‘Well I wanna hit one that counts, that matters.

Tino Martinez hit the Yanks’ 2nd home run of the game one inning later to slash the lead to 5-3, then, in a decision that would be second-guessed by Braves fans everywhere, Bobby Cox sent Tom Glavine back out to pitch the 8th.  It would prove to be the wrong decision.  After Joe Girardi led off with a single, Chuck Knoblauch came up and hit a 2-run, opposite field shot that glanced off of Brian Jordan‘s webbing before careening into the stands.

Swung on and drilled deep to left field!… That could go!  Williams back!… Looking up!… SEE YA!  A home run, into the Braves’ bullpen in left-centerfield, and the Yankees win the game 6-5!  And they’re one win away from baseball nirvana!  Oh, what a home run for Chad Curtis!  He rounds third, he heads home, and the entire Yankee team greets him at home plate!  What a thrilling, come-from-behind, 6-5, Yankee win!  Oh man, it doesn’t get better than this!

| Michael Kay’s call |

The game-tying blast set up Curtis’ home run that mattered.  Leading off the 10th, the left fielder crushed a shot to left that landed in the Monument Park netting to give the Yankees a thrilling 6-5 victory and the Braves a crippling loss.  It was the first World Series walk off homer since Joe Carter won the 1993 Fall Classic for the Toronto Blue Jays.

I’ve heard people talk about tingling and I’ve never felt that before.  But between second and third I kind of felt some tingling in my legs.

| Chad Curtis |

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