In one reactionary moment, a random child in the short porch helped the New York Yankees to their first World Series in nearly 20 years. And while we all may not agree on the fairness involved here, there's no doubting that 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier helped kickstart the Yankee dynasty of the '90s when he pulled Derek Jeter's deep fly ball into the stands, 23 years ago today in 1996.
On replay, Maier appears to reach over Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco, into the field of play, and grab a ball ticketed for the playing field, instead turning it into a home run.
Even umpire Richie Garcia, the man who called it a dinger on the field, refused to admit the ball would've landed in Tarasco's glove if it had remained untouched, but did acknowledge that it probably didn't belong in the stands.
Instead, Jeter's blast tied the game at 4-4, and the contest was ended in extra innings by Bernie Williams' walk-off homer. The Yankees took the ALCS over the O's 4-1, then won their first of four World Series in that era a few weeks later.
And Maier? He became Wesleyan University's all-time hits leader on the diamond. Kid was always creating offense, in more ways than one.