On This Day: Derek Jeter and Jeffrey Maier combine for a home run in 1996 ACLS Game 1

On this day in 1996 the Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles squared off in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It was the Yankees first appearance in the Championship Series in 15 years and with the team trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jeter stepped to plate. In what would be one of the first of many iconic moments in the career of the former Yankee captain, Jeter hit a deep fly ball to right field. Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco retreated all the way to the wall and reached up for the ball, but right at the last minute a glove reached out of the stands and over the field of play to intercept the ball and bring it in to the first row.

Credit: AP

The glove belonged to 12-year-old fan Jeffrey Maier and without the benefit of instant replay reviews, right field umpire Rich Garcia ruled the play a home run. With the score tied, the game would move to extra innings where the Yankees would go on to win in 11 innings on a walk off home run by Bernie Williams. The Yankees would go on to defeat the Atlanta Braves in six games to bring home their first World Series Championship since 1978.

Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP

Although Jeter was involved, he was arguably a secondary figure in this play. The shots of Maier reaching out of the stands and Tarasco’s reaction are iconic scenes in baseball history and were likely major contributors for arguments in favor of replay reviews. Maier would receive a lot of media attention immediately following this game, but would go on to live an otherwise normal life. He played baseball in college and pursued a major league career but never wound up making in to the show. He never made it to the majors, but Jeffrey Maier will always be tied to Derek Jeter through one of the more memorable and controversial plays of the Jeter era.

Article by Matt Graziano



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