What's Buzzing:

Big League Stew

Jeffrey Maier isn’t planning on attending any Yankees-Orioles games in the ALDS

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

With the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles facing off in the postseason for the first time since the 1996 ALCS, a lot of people have been wondering where Jeffrey Maier will be watching this week's ALDS between the two teams.

Maier, of course, was the 12-year-old Yankees fan who famously interfered with Derek Jeter's fly ball in the eighth inning of that Game 1 of the 1996 series, pulling it over Yankee Stadium's right-field wall for a game-tying home run. The Yankees would go on to win the game in 11 innings — and later the series — making the New Jersey youngster a hero in New York and a scourge in Baltimore. Though Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco objected furiously on the field and Baltimore filed a protest of the game, Major League Baseball upheld umpire Richie Garcia's call in the days before there was instant replay for home runs.

View gallery


Jeffrey Maier in the 1996 ALCS (AP)

While Maier would seem like a perfect candidate to do a media tour or throw out a first pitch before Wednesday's Game 3 in the Bronx, Maier tells the New York Daily News that he has no plans to attend any of the games and that the Yankees have not extended any invitations. Now 28, Maier is married to  — gasp! — a Boston Red Sox fan and the couple lives in New Hampshire with their two young sons.

Still, the memory of his famous interference — which vaulted the Yankees to a championship run and ruined a great title shot for the Orioles — will  hang over this best-of-five ALDS series. It's a dynamic that Maier not only acknowledges, but also embraces.

From the NYDN:

"I've definitely heard from more people this week than I have in quite some time," Maier told the Daily News on Saturday, one day before the Yankees were to open their 2012 AL division series against the Orioles. "It's fun and I embrace it and try to have fun with it.

"I realize it is an exciting story and one that people still remember and it's a part of baseball history. At this point in my life, I always try to share the story with folks that have a similar passion for the game that I still have to this day."

Maier made headlines in the mid-2000s when he experienced his own baseball success on the field. He set the all-time hits record while playing for Division III Wesleyan University and earned a couple of workouts with major-league teams, including the Yankees. He  even played for the Pittsfield Dukes, a summer-league team in New England that was formerly owned by current Orioles GM Dan Duet.

View gallery


Jeffrey Maier sets the hits record for Wesleyan University in 2006. (AP)

From Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports:

"He loves baseball," Duquette recalled of Maier. "He wrote me an email (wanting to play for the team), and I saw the name. I said, 'Jeffrey Maier?' Then I put two and two together. I called him back and said, 'You're not THE Jeffrey Maier, right?' He said, 'As a matter of fact, I am.'

Though a shot in the big leagues never worked out for Maier, he remains connected to the world of sports. He tells the NYDN that he works in sales for League Apps, an Internet company that "provides mobile applications, websites, online registration and management software for adult recreational sports leagues."

As for the young shortstop that Maier helped to one of his first moments of October glory? Well, let's just say that Derek Jeter isn't as entranced with Maier's unique place in baseball history as some of us.

"We would've beat 'em anyway," Jeter told reporters with a grin on Saturday.

Are you ready for the postseason?
Follow @bigleaguestew@KevinKaduk and the BLS Facebook page!

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
View Comments (19)
  • Golf-Australian Jones battles it out to fulfil a dream

    By Nick Mulvenney SYDNEY, Nov 29 (Reuters) - If recent history is anything to go by, Matt Jones should have major expectations for 2016 after winning the Australian Open at his home course on Sunday. The U.S. PGA tour regular followed some pretty … More »

    Reuters - 11 minutes ago
  • Middle Tennessee wins Great Alaska title, 78-70 over Toledo

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Reggie Upshaw had 18 points, Giddy Potts added 15 and Middle Tennessee held off Toledo 78-70 in the Great Alaska Shootout championship on Saturday night. … More »

    AP - Sports - 16 minutes ago
  • Golf-Korean Hwang eagles final hole to edge Ishikawa at Casio World Open

    South Korean Hwang Jung-gon made a spectacular eagle at the final hole to earn a one-stroke victory over local favourite Ryo Ishikawa at the Casio World Open in Kochi on Sunday. After being outdriven by around 30 yards at the par-five 18th, Hwang … More »

    Reuters - 18 minutes ago
  • Marsh, Voges push Australia within reach of victory

    Marsh, Voges push Australia within reach of victory

    By Ian Ransom ADELAIDE (Reuters) - Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh drove Australia to within 74 runs of a series-winning victory at the dinner-break in the third and final test in Adelaide on Sunday after New Zealand's pacemen captured three early … More »

    Reuters - 25 minutes ago
  • James tops Nets on last-second hook shot

    James tops Nets on last-second hook shot

    LeBron James has turned in countless clutch performances during his career. James made a running hook shot with a second left and scored 26 points, giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a 90-88 victory over the Brooklyn Nets. After Joe Johnson's three … More »

    AP - Sports - 39 minutes ago