When we interviewed Tyler Austin here at Bleeding Yankee Blue a while back (Read EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: TYLER AUSTIN... WONDERBOY), we spoke about swinging a baseball bat. Back then, and still now, I fell in love with this nugget. Read the exchange we had:
"BYB: Tyler, what do you tell kids who want to quit Little League after a frustrating at bat, or season?
Tyler Austin: Hang in there. I’ve had frustrating seasons and I’ve played a year ahead. Those years, my numbers went down, everything seemed to. I struggled and I realized that I needed to work alittle harder and I can’t get down on myself. I like to watch the Legend of Bagger Vance. In it, there’s an important lesson: Everybody has their own authentic swing. Once you find yours, there is nothing you can’t accomplish."
Last night, with the game against the Rays tied 4-4, Tyler 'Wonderboy' Austin cranked out a home run, and it was right then that I said to myself, "He found his authentic swing!" The win was significant. The walk-off and contributions by the New York Yankees was greater. The excitment in the Bronx was fantastic! This was a true team effort made up of veterans, youth and a little magic in the Bronx.
The Yankees are just 2 out of the Wild Card. In the American League East, they are just 4 games out.
And so here we go! The Yankees are making a run of their lives after digging themselves into a big hole earlier in the season. There was turmoil, the trading away of veterans and the introduction of newcomers. And now... it's that perfect mix of veterans and rookies and it reminds me a helluva lot like 1996. No one believed in that team... not many believed in this one, me included.
And in that one moment in the bottom of the 9th, Wonderboy shined because Wonderboy was patient with himself and his abilities over these Yankee years of the minor leagues. Tyler Austin loves this game. Tyler Austin wanted to play pro-baseball since the age of 4... and last night, under the lights in the Bronx, it was Tyler Austin that got his Roy Hobbs moment... that's Wonderboy.
The Yankees are for real ladies and gentlemen. Root hard now and let's get the next one.
I want to personally congratulate Tyler on a job well done. Now keep going, kid, and let's get the boys to the playoffs!
Final: Yankees 5 - Rays 4