Colin Curtis’ parents try to watch all of the Yankees’ games via MLB.tv from their living room in a Seattle suburb, but it could have been excused if they wandered away from the computer in the seventh inning of yesterday’s game. Brett Gardner was the hitter and Curtis was chugging Gatorade on the bench – there was no way to know what would happen.
Turns out, Dad was just in time. Jed Curtis had just escaped a meeting and returned to his Issaquah, Wash. desk, when he saw a sequence of events that would have him jumping for joy, as he told the New York Post
When Gardner was ejected, Curtis replaced him, inheriting an 0-2 count and slugging a memorable 3-2, three-run homer that put the last exclamation point on the Yankees’ 10-2 victory. It was a dream come true moment for Curtis, who overcame testicular cancer as a high school freshman, wore No. 9 at Arizona State in honor of Roger Maris and belted a walk-off home run this spring for the Yankees while wearing uniform No. 98.
“It’s a lot of excitement,” Curtis said. “You hit it and you see it go out, and it’s the first one of your career in a big situation. I was real excited just running around and trying to hold back a big smile.”
The baseball was hit into the right-field seats, and it took a little bit of scrambling for the Yankees’ security staff to secure the souvenir. In the end, the lucky fan who caught the ball agreed to swap Curtis’ first big league homer for autographs from Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Curtis said he had to track both players down after the game, a chore he surely did not mind.