An electrical, however uniquely bizarre vibe engulfed chilly and damp Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The centerpiece of consideration was, in fact, the anticipation over Aaron Decide and whether or not he would hit his 62nd house run, to interrupt Roger Maris’ long-standing American League document.
Surrounding that anticipation was a recreation of zero consequence within the standings. The Yankees had already clinched the AL East and the Orioles had been eradicated from postseason competition.
Then there was Yankees beginning pitcher Nestor Cortes, mowing down the Baltimore lineup, briefly flirting with a no-hitter and ending with 12 strikeouts and just one hit allowed.
There additionally had been a number of key Yankees who determine to be integral to how deep they are going to take this journey as soon as the postseason begins: Giancarlo Stanton drilled his twenty ninth house run, and Gleyber Torres, Josh Donaldson and Kyle Higashioka all knocked in runs within the Yankees’ 8-0 win.
After which there was what was occurring in Part 227A, Row 5 alongside the third-base line. That’s the place a 69-year-old man named Burt Rochelson sat with 11 relations, hoping for historical past to repeat itself.
Sixty-one years in the past Saturday — Oct. 1, 1961 — Rochelson sat within the previous Yankee Stadium as an 8-year-old together with his mother and father and witnessed Maris break Babe Ruth’s long-standing house run document of 60 by hitting his 61st homer.
“It was the one baseball recreation I ever went to with my father,’’ Rochelson advised The Submit from his seat on the Stadium. “He was European and he didn’t get baseball in any respect. He was simply attempting to be dad and took me to the sport. Everybody within the stands was going loopy and standing up and cheering that day and he couldn’t work out what was the massive deal.
“It was fairly a day.’’
Rochelson, a Brooklyn native who now lives in Port Washington, hoped for an additional special occasion Saturday, pining to see Decide hit No. 62 to deliver his baseball life “linear’’ — full-circle.
“This was kind of a romantic notion for me, as a result of the day Maris hit the house run it was October 1, so there’s a symmetry to this,’’ he mentioned. “About six weeks in the past or a bit of bit extra, Decide was hitting house runs at a price of about each 2.6 video games. I did the mathematics and mentioned, ‘He may find yourself breaking the document on October 1st.’
“So, I bought the tickets.’’
Rochelson was on the recreation together with his three sons and grandchildren. He, too, had with him the scorecard from that 1961 recreation, which value 15 cents, and had gamers’ names written within the lineup. Within the cleanup spot on that scorecard, Yogi Berra’s identify was scratched out in favor of Hector Lopez, who simply died Friday at age 93.
By recreation’s finish Saturday, Decide didn’t make historical past, going 0-2 with two strikeouts, two walks and a hit-by-pitch.
“Although he didn’t hit the house run immediately it might nonetheless be enjoyable to be there,’’ Rochelson mentioned. “As I advised one in every of my children this morning, the celebs had been aligned. After watching the climate all week, it appeared horrible and this morning there was a three-hour window between 1 and 4 o’clock.
“I used to be actually pumped. It was kind of a linear a part of my life. I used to be at this recreation 61 years in the past, so being right here with my children and grandchildren was simply superb.’’
Rochelson mentioned he turned a Yankees fan as a result of the Dodgers had fled west and “the Yankees had been the one recreation on the town’’ and there was a D prepare cease throughout the road from his home in Brooklyn as a child that he might take straight to Yankee Stadium.
He didn’t lament not seeing Decide break the Maris document Saturday. However he’ll be watching from house Sunday hoping for historical past.
“Eventually,’’ he mentioned, “some pitcher’s going to make a mistake.’’
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