ANAHEIM -- Garret Anderson was inducted to the Angels Hall of Fame on Saturday, but it was another left fielder, the Yankees' Brett Gardner, who might have drawn the loudest cheer of the night.A long fly ball from Angels slugger C.J. Cron destined for the left-field stands made an early
ANAHEIM -- Garret Anderson was inducted to the Angels Hall of Fame on Saturday, but it was another left fielder, the Yankees' Brett Gardner, who might have drawn the loudest cheer of the night.
A long fly ball from Angels slugger C.J. Cron destined for the left-field stands made an early stop into the glove of Gardner, who jumped over, and onto, the wall to rob a home run as his body went horizontal, colliding with fans.
With the Angels down, 5-0, in the seventh inning and looking for their first run of the series, Cron hit a 365-footer that would have narrowed the score to 5-2 without the play from Gardner. The Yankees went on to win, 5-1.
"Off the bat, I thought it was a home run," manager Joe Girardi said. "Then I saw him getting closer and closer and you're kinda like, 'Maybe, maybe, stay in here, stay in here.' Outstanding catch, and that's a big out."
Gardner sprinted toward the wall and timed the jump perfectly to reel in the ball, with a pair of fans cushioning his landing and likely keeping him from going into the stands. While it wasn't immediately clear that Gardner made the catch, his quick throw to the infield to try to double off Jefry Marte prompted a loud cheer from the many Yankees fans on hand at Angel Stadium.
Contrast that to a similar catch in April against Toronto, where fans were OK with letting him hit the concrete ground.
"The back of me, maybe a fan kind of helped me up or something," Gardner said. "They were a little nicer to me than they were in Toronto earlier in the year."
It might have helped that the fan in question on Saturday was donned in Yankees garb.
Jack Baer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.