Heritage Auctions is selling the glove, used by a young fan to snare a long drive from Derek Jeter in the 1996 American League Championship Series, turning a possible out into a home run and helping the Yankees to one of the most important wins in modern franchise history.
The 12-year-old’s Game One grab is one of the most famous and controversial fan-involved plays in baseball history, one that propelled the Yankees to a disputed victory against the Baltimore Orioles and may have sparked the modern day New York dynasty.
Maier, now 30, eventually sold the black leather Mizuno glove to a collector, who has now consigned it to the Heritage Platinum Night auction, set to conclude Saturday night at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion on 5th Avenue. Online bidding is already underway with a current high bid of $15,535.
“Maier” is printed in child-like block lettering on the wrist.
Maier became a household name and very popular with Yankee fans on October 12, 1996 after he was identified as the person who snared the ball before it could be hauled in by Orioles’ right fielder Tony Tarasco.
Jim Leyritz was retired on strikes to start the bottom of the eighth inning and Jeter, then a rookie, came to the plate to face hard-throwing Orioles reliever Armando Benitez. With his team trailing by a run with one out and the bases empty, Jeter swung at the first offering and sent a long drive to deep right field. Seated in the stands with family members, Maier—like most kids—saw a souvenir and dipped his young arm below the wall and squeezed the pocket shut, then pulled the ball back over the fence.
Tarasco immediately claimed interference which replay confirmed, but that could not overturn the blown call. Jeter circled the bases, tying the game. After two more scoreless innings, Bernie Williams would send Yankee fans home with an 11th inning solo shot and an unlikely 5-4 victory. The Yankees went on to win the World Series, ending their longest Championship drought since Babe Ruth supplied the teams’ first in 1923. Three more World Championships would come in the next four seasons and the Yankees were once again the center of the baseball world.
Heritage says the glove is accompanied by an array of photographs of Maier holding the glove both as a child and as an adult, along with his signed letter of provenance. Maier appeared on national talk shows in the hours after the game. He went on to become a standout high school and college player at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.