Roberto Alomar recalls his Game 4 1992 ALCS home run
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So when Alomar stepped into the batter’s box on Oct. 11, 1992 in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, he came armed with knowledge.
“At that time I was swinging the bat real well, I believe I had two or three hits before the home run,” said Alomar, whose Blue Jays faced Eckersley’s Athletics for the AL pennant that fall. “Eck was almost unhittable that year. With him, you needed to just look for one pitch inside. I fouled off two pitches on the outside corner, but in my mind, I was looking for a fastball inside. I found a ball in the zone and hit a home run.
“You just have to concentrate on his arm,” Alomar said matter-of-factly. “And then when he lets the ball go, you concentrate on that.”
What Alomar didn’t know at the time was that he had hit one of the most important home runs in Toronto Blue Jays history. But even if he had known, the pressure likely wouldn’t have phased him. Despite his young age of 24, Alomar had five seasons of big league ball under his belt, and played with the maturity of a seasoned veteran.
“I’d say his focus was what impressed me most this season,” said Blue Jays teammate Candy Maldonado to the New York Times after the game. “He had an oldness about him in the field, like some banged-up quarterback. He was a quarterback who understood where his receivers were, what defenses were doing. He played hard and hurt. It was an honor to play with him.”
“For us it was a turning point. It just turned the organization around. From that point on, we knew we could beat anybody.”
Alex Coffey was the communications specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum