The mighty Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees got the fireworks started early in Tuesday night’s American League wild card game. Here’s the scene: Top of the first inning, two down, Boston’s Nathan Eovaldi on the mound, 0–1 count, an 87-mph slider cruising just a little too casually over the outer half of the plate. Stanton—baseball’s Lord of Exit Velocity, the last person on Earth you want to see coiling up for a big rip at your hanging breaking pitch—whipped his bat through the zone and absolutely crushed the baseball. Murdered it. Look at this titan, this Bunyanesque figure, admiring the moon shot that staked his Yankees to a crucial early lead:
I have admired a lot of home runs in my day, but this one, this big fly, this mega-dinger, this is the one I will recall in a tortured whisper into the ear of my nearest loved one, from my deathbed, with my final, dying breath. “Remember that huge fuckin’ Giancarlo Stanton dinger, the one from the first inning of the 2021 AL wild card game, the one that flew over the Green Monster and left the stadium and crossed the Massachusetts Turnpike and rolled all the way into the Charles River,” I will ask, as my wife’s tear-streaked face screws up into a look of anguished confusion. “Mamma mia, that fuckin’ ruled.” Then I will die, and anyone who looks deeply into my eyes in that moment of passing will see my spirit depart my body in the form of Stanton’s huge dinger, sailing off into the Boston night sky, never to return. Wow.
Giancarlo, non si puo stoparlo, indeed! I will always remember exactly where I was when Stanton socked this epic, historic dong. I was sitting on the floor of my living room. My only child was moments away from taking her very first unassisted steps, while simultaneously uttering her first definitive word, “Daddy.” Thank goodness my wife was there to witness those rites of passage firsthand and recall them to me hours later, when my euphoria finally subsided. In the moment I was simply too busy leaping to my feet and screaming to the heavens as Stanton’s incredible home run left the planet’s orbit on its long journey to the outer solar system. “Did you see what I just saw, please tell me you saw that,” I shouted to the room, cutting off my wife, who was at that moment trying to direct my attention toward our child. “Look at that incredible home run!”
I feel very grateful to have witnessed this momentous event in real time, and by “this momentous event” I am of course referring to the incredible home run that Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees crushed off of Nathan Eovaldi of the Red Sox, in the first inning of Tuesday night’s AL Wild Card Game. The Yankees would go on to defeat the Red Sox, behind further Stanton heroics, naturally.