Interesting things happen when home runs are hit to the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium. In Game 4 of the 2010 ALCS, Robinson Cano hit a home run there, just beyond the reach of Rangers right fielder Nelson Cruz. That home run made the score 1-0, Yankees. The Rangers went on to win the game 10-3, so the home run itself was meaningless. (Well, it might have had meaning for Cano). But the aftermath of the home run made animated GIF history:
That's yankeesfans.gif, captured and released upon an unsuspecting internet by @bubbaprog. It made the elite eight in Jon Bois' GIF bracket earlier this year. Fictional biographies have been written for every person in the image. We'll forget the home run, but we'll never forget the fan who caught it.
Earlier today, Alex Rodriguez hit a home run that landed in almost exactly the same spot, just above the end of the W.B. Mason sign. It wasn't an impressive-looking home run—when Rodriguez hit it, he wasn't sure it was gone. It was one of four home runs hit by the Yankees, and one of nine home runs hit in the game. (The Braves hit five.) The Yankees were down by three runs even after Rodriguez crossed the plate, and they lost the game 10-5. That didn't stop the fan who caught the ball (barehanded!) from giving Jason Heyward a heaping helping of New York hospitality.
Like most sequels, it's not quite up to the standards of the original. But judging by Heyward's expression, he enjoyed it anyway.
Lost in all the trash-talking and fist-shaking was one small Yankees fan watching his elders and tentatively mimicking their movements.
In 20 years, that kid will catch a ball in the same spot, and he'll know what to do.
I leave the fictional biographies to you. Please be sure to include Guy in Gray Shirt Contentedly Draining Souvenir Cup and Nervous Guy With Unbuttoned Shirt Peer Pressured into Pounding Fence.
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And just to show we aren't biased, we hate the Red Sox and their fans too.