Aaron Boone’s Yankees playing career lasted less than a full season and included just 71 games. It started on Aug. 1 and was officially over the following February.
But it included one at-bat he – and Yankees fans everywhere – will never forget. It was a trip to the plate that made the infielder a part of the franchise’s lengthy postseason lore, an ALCS-clinching, walk-off home run that sent the Yankees to the 2003 World Series and extended the rival Red Sox’s Curse of the Bambino for at least one more year.
“I knew right away I had hit it real good,” Boone said that night, after his 11th-inning homer off Tim Wakefield capped a thrilling 6-5, come-from-behind victory in the seventh game of the series. “Derek [Jeter] told me sometimes the ghosts show up here. When I joined the Yankees, this is the kind of thing I thought I could be a part of. This is the perfect story ending for everyone — extra innings in Game 7 after a comeback. It’s the perfect ending.”
Boone, acquired at the July 31 trade deadline from the Reds, didn’t start that night, benched by manager Joe Torre in favor of Enrique Wilson. He entered in the eighth inning as a pinch-runner…