When Colin Curtis got to his locker after today’s game, the Yankees championship belt was sitting in his chair. Pretty big honor for a guy with 27 major league at-bats, but Curtis had no idea what it was for.
“I don’t know what it is,” he said. “But it was in my locker after the game.”
There were a lot of big moments that kept the Yankees in front this afternoon. Dave Robertson got out of a bases-loaded jam. Joba Chamberlain got out of a bases-loaded jam. Juan Miranda hit a solo home run. But Derek Jeter said he never felt comfortable until Curtis went deep, a bizarre pinch-hit home run that came only after Brett Gardner was ejected in the middle of an at-bat.
Curtis said he was sitting on the bench, drinking Gatorade when Gardner was tossed. He grabbed a bat, took a few practice swings and went to the plate already in the hole 0-2. He worked the count full then drove one to right field. When he got to the dugout, the crowd demanded a curtain call.
“I had no idea what to do,” Curtis said. “I was just giving people high fives and they said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go out.’ So I was like, all right. I was walking up by the benches, and they were pushing me out toward the opening of the dugout. That was the thrill of a lifetime. You see all of the Yankee history of those guys taking curtain calls. To get an opportunity to do it was amazing.”
Here’s Curtis talking after the game. You’ll notice a sudden pause in the interview. That’s when Reggie Jackson came over to give Curtis a baseball with a personalized inscription. A few minutes earlier, Jackson had told Curtis that he was proud of him, and Curtis had responded: “I’m a little bit behind you.”
Associated Press photo