By the time Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 6 in the 2004 ALCS, the New York Yankees were desperately trying to avoid what everyone saw coming: The greatest comeback—or collapse, depending on your point of view—in baseball history.
The Yankees had blown a 3-0 lead in the series and were trailing 4-2 in Game 6 when Rodriguez dug in against Boston's Bronson Arroyo with one out and Derek Jeter on first.
A-Rod hit a weak grounder off the end of the bat in between the mound and first base, which Arroyo fielded. He attempted to tag Rodriguez, who proceeded to slap the ball out of the pitcher's glove. As the ball rolled into right field, Jeter motored around the bases, scoring from first and cutting Boston's lead to in half.
Except Boston manager Terry Francona argued and the umpires reversed the call, citing runner interference, and the run came off of the board, leaving Rodriguez stunned, as he told reporters after the game.
"I know that line belongs to me and he was coming at me. Once I reached out and tried to knock the ball, the call went against me. I should have just run over him."
Never one to be left speechless, Boston first baseman Kevin Millar offered A-Rod some career advice: "That's against the rules. If you want to play football, strap on some pads and go play for the Green Bay Packers."
The rest, as they say, is history. Boston not only staged the greatest comeback in baseball history, but went on to break the "Curse of the Bambino" and won the team's first World Series championship since 1918.