Jeffrey Maier Game Still Looms Over Orioles-Yankees, Baseball
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had a front-row seat for the home run that might have changed baseball during the late 20th century. As a player on the 1996 Yankees team that beat the Orioles for the American League Championship Series, he was in the dugout when 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reached over the right-field fence and deflected a ball that Orioles outfielder Tony Tarasco was trying to snag.
Derek Jeter was awarded a home run; the Yankees tied the game, 4-4; and New York went on to win the game and the series. Orioles fans still bring up the interference moment as painful 16 years later.
During a media availability Saturday in Baltimore, Girardi said it was a transformational play.
"The playoff series was obviously very intense," Girardi said, "and then you had the fly ball that everyone was talking about for a long time. It was probably part of the reason instant replay was brought in for home run balls."
Now the two teams are meeting in the postseason again in 2012, which Girardi said was good for baseball.
Posted Oct. 6, 2012.