Laugh all you want, but the dopey kid in the Sabathia shirsey sitting in the front row of the right field loge at Yankee Stadium last night has a really cool dad. During the decisive fourth inning of the Yankees-A's tilt last night, Mark Teixeira unloaded a massive moonshot towards our seats, Bob Iracane calmly stood up, pointed his glove towards the heavens, and easily snagged Teixeira's thirtieth tater tot of the year.
We've been sitting in these seats since Opening Day of last season and waiting for a home run to land in our laps every single game. In April of last year, Johnny Damon deposited a tater tot right into our row but some jamook sitting next to us lunged for it at the last second and knocked it out of my dad's hands. My bad, I was supposed to box out the drunken jamook.
There were no jamooks this time around, although I did throw some elbows at that bald guy on the right up there. Bob caught it with such grace and then rejoiced by pounding the UTZ sign. Meanwhile, the YES Network was busy showing eleventy different camera angles of the home run, and then shots of our group getting phone calls and text messages saying "OMG JUST SAW YOUSE ON TV" or "John and Suzy are talking about youse guys!"
No, Bob didn't give away the baseball; it was his first home run catch ever! He's charitably given away tons of batting practice baseballs to towheaded tykes in our section, and I'm sure that the next time a home run ball finds its way into our row, he'll save it for one of my sister's kids. Maybe if we're lucky he'll sign a baseball and we can auction it off to raise funds for our hosting fees.
After the catch, YES play-by-play guy Michael Kay and color man Tino Martinez debated the jersey my dad was wearing. Was the #24 on his back in honor of former Yankee first baseman Martinez? Kay guessed that because of my dad's advanced age and souvenir 61* cap, a giveaway from the 2001 season. Tino suggested it might be a Robinson Cano jersey. Both were wrong: Bob wears #24 because his favorite player frm his childhood was Willie Mays, although when my dad wore it playing softball while I was growing up I thought it was for Rickey Henderson. I'm just glad I had an opportunity to prove Michael Kay wrong.
Either way, it was a nifty catch of a huge home run by a current Yankee and it's one I'll always remember. Probably because my dad will never let me forget it.