While Aaron Boone was trotting around the bases in a trance after hitting a walk-off home run against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium, waiting eagerly at home plate was Derek Jeter, who eventually slapped Boone on the back as the team swarmed its hero in celebration.
“It’s unbelievable,” Boone told FOX after hugging his teammates with a new championship hat on his head. “Like Derek [Jeter] told me, the ghosts will show up eventually, and they did.”
But that classic line wasn’t the only exchange of words between Boone and the Yankee captain. Shortly after he crossed home and soaked in the crowd’s thundering roar, Boone approached Jeter, and the two expressed their gratitude.
“When looking at the famous picture that [Derek’s] the one right there,” Boone told the New York Post. “But what stood out afterwards was what he said to me: “If I had hit that ball in Game 7, I would have walked backwards around the basepaths.” Which obviously isn’t true, but I’ll always remember him saying that.”
Boone, who retired in 2009 after 12 major league seasons, currently serves as a color commentator for ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, and on Mother’s Day, the 44-year-old will be back in the Bronx watching his old friend and future Hall of Famer be enshrined into Monument Park.
Although they were teammates for only one year, Boone describes Jeter like everyone else around baseball.
“I came over at the trade deadline with the Reds [in 2003], and that was the only team I had played with to that point. I went to New York thinking Derek is a great player, but after playing with him for a few months, I left there knowing how special he was as a player. It just seemed in the biggest moments there was just an urgency, a confidence. You hear all the time with athletes, you don’t want to be afraid to fail and he has that. You felt it, he wanted to be the guy.”