For the fans, watching the Yankees mount a 5-run comeback in the bottom of the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday was something of a fairytale. However, imagine actually living it, all while playing in your first game as a New York Yankee and contributing toward the win.
Understanding and feeling the history of the Yankees is a unique experience, but Harrison Bader didn’t just get to watch, he got to help his new team overcome a myriad of obstacles, making Aaron Judge’s 60th home run even more special.
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The Yankees got immediate contributions from Harrison Bader:
Bader witnessed history with the rest of us, as Judge tied Babe Ruth’s single-season home run number (60). Immediately after, he saw the resurrection of Giancarlo Stanton, who has been struggling in the month of September considerably before launching a game-winning Grand Slam to beat the Pirates.
Entering the game, Stanton was hitting .130 with a 21.6% on-base rate, but left the game hitting his first home run in six games and tallying four RBIs to go with it. He had struck out in his previous three at-bats, but clearly, he might have found his confidence once again.
On the other hand, Bader made a significant impact in his first game donning the pinstripes. After striking out in his first at-bat, Bader recorded two hits, including three RBIs that were extremely timely. He singled to left field in the bottom of the 5th inning, driving in Oswaldo Cabrera, and singled to right field in the 6th inning, driving in Josh Donaldson and Cabrera once again.
This is exactly the type of production fans hoped for after GM Brian Cashman traded Jordan Montgomery to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for the injured outfielder. No longer sporting the luscious blond hair he once had with St. Louis, Bader quickly rose to the occasion with his new club, becoming part of history in the process.
There may not be a better way to make your debut with a team than what Harrison experienced last night. He will be eternally scratched into the history books alongside Judge and a vintage Yankees comeback win.