The last Yankees out was just the start of Charlie Hayes’ best baseball dream

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Charlie Hayes inactive sees the ball, drifting precocious successful the acheronian October night, brighter and much beauteous than immoderate different entity staring down from the Bronx sky. Every hopeful oculus astatine Yankee Stadium moved on with his. Millions much saw the shot leap from Mark Lemke’s bat done the apical of a TV screen, concealing its destination.

Hayes was the measuring gauge. He rapidly scurried to his right, crossed the third-base enactment and toward the seats. Derek Jeter stood adjacent by, looking astatine Hayes, past the ball, past backmost astatine Hayes.

It felt similar gravity was suspended, similar the shot mightiness bent successful the aerial forever. It felt similar decades passed aft the shot near John Wetteland’s hand, similar eons crawled since Thurman Munson caught a popup to clinch the erstwhile Yankees championship, similar airy years were traveled since the overpowering Braves dominated the archetypal 2 games of the 1996 World Series successful New York and returned to Atlanta successful presumption to repetition arsenic champions.

The shot appeared indecisive. Maybe it would drift retired of play, arsenic connected Lemke’s erstwhile swing, which sent Hayes tumbling into the visitors’ dugout — helium dislocated his digit aft the title-clinching drawback dropped inches retired of scope — and prompted a corporate groan from the assemblage past applause for Hayes’ effort arsenic helium returned to third, sucking upwind and lamenting his brushwood with history. Rafael Belliard, representing the game-tying run, went backmost to second. Marquis Grissom, with the go-ahead run, returned to first.