As David Ortiz exited stage right, a new star appeared from a cheering mass of Boston Red Sox faithful: the bullpen cop.
ESPN Boston's Joe McDonald reports on an iconic image that is spreading throughout the Internet just a day after a memorable comeback and one gigantic wallop from a familiar slugger.
Some of the characters you already know. Torii Hunter is the guy whose heels you see above the right-field fence, and Ortiz is the player hitting yet another historic home run.
The police officer is a new face to Sox Nation lore. According to the report, he is 50-year-old Steve Horgan, and he was just doing what comes naturally when you see a two-out, game-tying home run. Here is how the entire thing played out:
The entire MLB postseason has been marked by phenomenal pitching with sporadic fits of offensive power thrown into the mix.
If you were looking for an image to capture this jubilant moment for Boston, you can do a lot worse than this jarring image of a tumbling Hunter and a bullpen cop cheering a magnificent home run from Ortiz.
Save a run in the sixth inning of Game 2, the Red Sox had not scored on stout Tigers pitching in 15 innings over two games before the blast. So you might say fans were getting restless at Fenway Park.
Horgan, who has been a Boston police officer for 27 years, had never experienced anything quite like it. "I couldn’t even hear myself it was so loud," he said. "I can’t believe it. I don’t know what to think. I can’t believe it. It was an awesome feeling."
He continued, "Oh, it was awesome. It was great. David Ortiz. Grand slam. It was great."
The Boston Globe's Andrew Ba Tran encapsulates all of Game 2 in one magnificent image via this tweet:
Pic of the night: Cop celebrates as Torii Hunter flips trying to catch Ortiz grand slam (Stan Grossfeld/Globe Staff) pic.twitter.com/Qenke4pyKM— Andrew Ba Tran (@abtran) October 14, 2013
Hunter was a little dazed on the play, and McDonald writes MLB's newest crazed character went over to make sure he was all right after his massive tumble over the wall.
By the time the game ended, the Red Sox had won 6-5 on a walk-off hit from Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the entire fanbase—cops and otherwise—let out a sigh of relief.
For Horgan, he had some pictures to take. As the report states, the cheering bullpen cop stuck around after the game and even got a moment to snap off a photo with Red Sox owner John Henry. Here are the two via McDonald's tweet:
Bullpen officer Steve Horgan and John Henry. pic.twitter.com/XSqw7EXsZo— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) October 14, 2013
After a dearth of offense, the Sox exploded with one swing from Ortiz, providing fans the hope that comes with a 1-1 series and staving off the fear that presents itself from a 2-0 hole, as the Red Sox head to Detroit for three games starting Tuesday.
If you are looking for a catchy moniker for Ortiz and his band of come-from-behind misfits, Horgan's Heroes has a nice ring to it.
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