21 Years Later, Jeff Maier Gets to Relive His Big Moment

The right fielder, Tony Tarasco, retreated to the wall in addition to waited for the ball — however Maier’s black Mizuno glove beat him to the item. There was no instant replay then, in addition to the umpire, Rich Garcia, signaled home run. The Yankees went on to win the game, the series in addition to the championship.


Jeff Maier was 12 when he grabbed a ball hit to right field by the Yankees’ Derek Jeter during Game 1 of the 1996 American League Championship Series. Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco argued for a fan-interference call, saying he was lined up to make a catch if Maier had not touched the ball. however umpire Rich Garcia ruled the play a home run.

Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

Unwittingly, Maier had helped launch a dynasty, in addition to became an instant folk hero.

“The kid — nice!” exclaimed Joe Morgan, the Hall of Famer, on the NBC telecast. “Man, they need to sign him up!”

Bob Uecker noted which Maier had actually just deflected the ball into the stands. He never did get which Yankees contract, however he did meet Jeter the next year in addition to got a signed ball. Maier went on to play third base in addition to the outfield at Wesleyan, where he set the university’s career hits record in 2006. He interned briefly with the Milwaukee Brewers.

currently Maier runs the sales team for media in addition to entertainment at Fastly, an edge cloud provider based in San Francisco. He lives in fresh England, of all places, though he could rather not specify where. These days, he said, he is actually recognized no more than once a year. however there is actually no need to tip off angry Orioles fans.

Maier, a married father of three sons, watches the Yankees all season on his Fubo.TV app in addition to has taken his boys to see them play at Fenway Park. After playing catch on Saturday, he monitored the rest of the game while juggling bath time for his kids.

Maier fretted about Severino, who left after four innings because Manager Joe Girardi feared a shoulder problem. (“I feel 100 percent great,” Severino insisted.) He wondered about This specific winter’s free-agent class, in addition to who might fit for the Yankees. He expressed dismay at their hitters for taking too many curveballs through the Astros’ Justin Verlander.

He saw replays of Correa’s homer, naturally, in addition to offered his perspective on whether Judge could have caught the item, or whether Riley interfered. The Yankees initiated a crew chief review, which upheld the home run call on the field.

“the item’s tough to know if the item was catchable,” Maier said in a text message. “Obviously, the wall is actually not high, in addition to we all saw Josh Reddick make the play earlier. Depends on the jump Judge got off the bat. Don’t believe the item was interference, in addition to I’d imagine Judge was unable to get a not bad read or got a late start, because we’ve seen him pull balls back before.”

which matched Judge’s own assessment inside the clubhouse.

“I got back there a little late,” Judge said. “He took a not bad swing on a ball off the plate off Sevvy. I just wasn’t able to get back in addition to get a not bad read to the wall in addition to get up there in addition to make a play.”

Asked if he believed the fan had interfered, Judge said: “I don’t think so. I’m not too sure. the item happened so fast. I truly haven’t seen the replay.”

Riley, through Liberty Hill, Tex., attended the game with his parents, Amanda in addition to Mike. He did not catch the ball, however Mike scooped the item up by his feet. The Times’s Billy Witz asked Riley if he was nervous.

“Yes,” he said.

About what?

“which I reached over in addition to they were going to overturn the item,” he said.

How could which have made you feel?

“Bad,” he said.

As the item turned out, there was nothing to worry about. Girardi said he “saw the hands there” in addition to lamented which there were no cameras stationed straight along the fence line. Given the available angles, Girardi conceded, “I can see why they didn’t overturn the item.”

The Astros did not score again until Correa doubled home Jose Altuve with the winning run off Aroldis Chapman inside the bottom of the ninth. Perhaps these young Astros, currently two wins away through the American League pennant, will go on to the first of several titles, like the 1996 Yankees.

1996 ALCS Gm 1: Maier catches Jeter’s home run Video by MLB

Maier, at least, still believes in his team.

“They’ve proven to be a resilient team all year,” he said. “No reason to think they can’t bounce back in This specific series. The games have been close, in addition to which has a more simplified approach at the plate in addition to cutting down on some of the strikeouts, I think they have all the talent to prevail in seven.”

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