Charlie Hayes nonetheless sees the ball, drifting excessive at the hours of darkness October evening, brighter and extra lovely than some other object staring down from the Bronx sky. Every hopeful eye at Yankee Stadium moved alongside together with his. Millions extra noticed the ball leap from Mark Lemke’s bat by the highest of a TV display, concealing its vacation spot.
Hayes was the measuring gauge. He rapidly scurried to his proper, throughout the third-base line and towards the seats. Derek Jeter stood shut by, Hayes, then the ball, then again at Hayes.
It felt like gravity was suspended, just like the ball would possibly grasp within the air eternally. It felt like a long time handed after the ball left John Wetteland’s hand, like eons crawled since Thurman Munson caught a popup to clinch the earlier Yankees championship, like mild years had been traveled for the reason that overpowering Braves dominated the primary two video games of the 1996 World Series in New York and returned to Atlanta in position to repeat as champions.
The ball appeared indecisive. Maybe it might drift out of play, as on Lemke’s earlier swing, which despatched Hayes tumbling into the guests’ dugout — he dislocated his finger after the title-clinching catch dropped inches out of attain — and prompted a collective groan from the gang then applause for Hayes’ effort as he returned to 3rd, sucking wind and lamenting his brush with historical past. Rafael Belliard, representing the game-tying run, went again to second. Marquis Grissom, with the go-ahead run, returned to first.