New York Yankees: Top 5 ALCS Moments in Franchise History

The New York Yankees continue to battle the Houston Astros in the American League Championship series.

In honor of the much-anticipated matchup, I’m counting down the top-five ALCS moments in Yankees’ history, beginning with…

5) The Jeffrey Maier Game: October 9, 1996, Game 1 vs. Baltimore Orioles

In one of the most controversial plays in MLB history, the Yankees received a little help from 12-year-old fan Jeffrey Maier in Game 1 against the Baltimore Orioles. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, New York’s star shortstop Derek Jeter hit a deep drive to right field. Maier reached over the fence and snagged the ball, interfering with Orioles right fielder Tony Tarasco, who appeared to be in a prime position to make the play. Umpire Rich Garcia instantly ruled a home run, etching Maier’s name into Yankee lore. New York would go on to win the game 5-4 on a Bernie Williams extra innings walk-off homer.

4) David Justice Comes Up Clutch: October 17, 2000, Game 6 vs. Seattle Mariners

The Yankees struck gold when they traded for veteran slugger David Justice at the 2000 trade deadline. Trailing the Seattle Mariners 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh in Game 6, Justice hit a clutch three-run homer into the upper deck of Old Yankee Stadium. That home run helped spark a six-run frame, propelling the Bronx Bombers to a World Series meeting with Subway rival Mets.

3) The Rocket’s Gem: October 14, 2000, Game 4 vs. Seattle Mariners

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Roger Clemens’s Game 4 performance in Seattle ranks amongst the greatest by a pitcher in postseason history. The Rocket tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout, striking out an ALCS-record 15 batters to help New York grab a 3-1 series lead. Not too shabby from the seven-time Cy Young Award winner.

2) Chris Chambliss’s Walk-Off: October 14, 1976, Game 5 vs. Kansas City Royals

It had been 12 seasons since the Bronx Bombers last appeared in the Fall Classic. That all changed with one swing thanks to the bat of Chris Chambliss, who, with the score tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, launched a walk-off home run on the very first pitch from Royals reliever Mark Littell. Chambliss was subsequently mobbed by the Yankee faithful in a truly unforgettable scene.

1) Aaron Boone Walks Off the Red Sox: October 16, 2003, Game 7 vs. Boston Red Sox

A Game 7 walk-off home run to not only send your team to the World Series but eliminate your most hated rival in the process? Yeah, it’s hard to top that.