When Sam and I were putting together the Pinch Hitters series, there were a few proposals that stood out as obvious parts of the series. There were a few tough decisions and a few difficult omissions, but Pete’s post was always the one we wanted to use as the finale.
On Thursday, Frank wrote about the way a World Series can suddenly take a unthinkable turn for the worst. This morning, Pete wrote about the way a routine grounder to second can become a monumental moment. I don’t think I’ll ever forget talking to Mark Teixeira after the 2009 clincher — No. 27 on Pete’s list — and having him ask whether anyone could remember who he hugged first during the infield celebration. He honestly couldn’t remember. After that groundball, his world became a blur.
“I didn’t feel it,” Teixeira said of the throw to first. “I literally did not feel it hit my glove. I had to look down afterward to make sure that I caught it.”
Pitchers and catchers report to the Yankees spring training complex on Wednesday. In five days, the Yankees will turn the page and begin actively chasing No. 28.
Hope Pete left room in that notebook.