Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

The night Raul Ibanez went absolutely bonkers for the Yankees in the ALDS

It's hard to even believe that a 40-year-old, part-time player was up at the plate with Game 3 of the ALDS on the line.
But this is Raul Ibanez we're talking about.
He hit a career-high 34 dingers at 37 years old with the Phillies. He hit 19 in 384 at-bats with the Yankees in 2012. He hit more long balls after the age of 30 than Harmon Killebrew, Frank Thomas and Carl Yastrzemski did.
Raul. Ibanez.
And there he was, up to pinch-hit for three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning of ALDS Game 3 exactly six years ago. The Yankees were down 2-1 and the Orioles' Jim Johnson, arguably the best closer in baseball that year, was on the mound. Murmurs rustled through the stadium. Was this the right move? Were Joe Girardi's binders missing a few pages?
Ibanez took a first-pitch ball and then promptly sent Yankee Stadium into hysterics.

And then, in the 12th, Raul entered into New York baseball folk hero territory by drilling a walk-off dinger. He didn't even take a pitch this time, depositing the ball deep into the upper deck. You can watch that in the main clip atop this post (John Sterling's "Raul, So Cool" call is worth the click).
Ibanez had some other big hits for the Yankees in the postseason that year, clubbed 29 home runs for the Mariners the following season and finally retired from baseball in 2014. Even today, at age 46, we're guessing he could come off a big league bench and still hook one over the right-field wall.