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One of the Yes Network's most aired shows are their Yankee Classics.  Generally, during the regular season on off days and mornings before a game when there was none the day before, you can catch the Yankees Classics.  Then they fill up a lot of the schedule with them during the off-season.  As a Yankee fan, I think it's a great idea, although the ranking of some games as "Classics" can sometimes be questions.

Well, this is an attempt to log as many of the Yankee Classics that have been shown including some commentary and rankings on whether they really are classics or...not so much.

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AL Championship Series vs. Boston Red Sox
Game Seven : Aaron Boone's ALCS Walk Off HR
Thursday, October 16, 2003
Final Score: 6-5, 11 inn.
Yankee Classic Rating (1 low to 10 high): 10

This is another game I shouldn't have to explain to anyone.  This one gets a 10 since it's the next generation's Bucky Dent moment.  I was too young to really appreciate the Bucky Dent home run when it happened.  In 2003, me and millions of others in my generation got to relive what it was like to see a back-breaking homer that sends Boston home yet again.

Granted, Bucky Dent's homer was not of the walk off variety, but I imagine the feeling in the gut of Boston fans was around the same.  A more appropriate comparison might be when Jorge Posada's bloop double in the eighth off Pedro Martinez dropped in to score the tying runs completing an improbable comeback.  Improbable you ask?  Well, yes.  It was the first time ALL SEASON the Yankees came back from a 4+ run deficit.  And they waited until the eighth inning of the ALCS elimination game to do it.  That fact alone should earn it a ten, but there was so much more to this game.

Clutch pitching by the Yankee bullpen who, aside from a David Ortiz home run off David Wells in the top of the 8th, shut Boston down on three hits in eight innings.  Mariano Rivera might have pitched the most clutch and most dramatic three innings of his illustrious Yankee career.  Mike Mussina overcame his inability to perform on short rest to relieve Roger Clemens in the 4th with no out, runners on first and second and escape unharmed.  Of course, there was Aaron Boone ending it all, relieving every Yankee fans collected tension and allowing New York to let out a huge sigh of relief and subject every Boston fan to another sigh of desperation.

I remember the nine days of that series being about the most stressful nine days of my life.  There was a never ending tension in my gut and the series was inescapable.  Everyone everywhere was talking about the series.  No matter where you turned to try to find just a little shelter from the series, somehow it would surface.  It was amazing.

It seemed like every pitch prefaced the end of the world and though the first five games clocked in at a relatively low approximate of 3 hours, it seemed much longer than that.  When that Aaron Boone homer landed in the stands, I was in a brief state of disbelief which quickly turned to utter joy and finally relief.  It was a tremendous weight off my shoulders.  It was because of that weight that the subsequent disappointment in the World Series was a little easier to take.  Yankee haters don't ever buy this, but the ALCS was the Yankees' World Series that year...at least for myself and most Yankee fans I know.  Sure, we wanted the World Series, but beating Boston was so much more important.  To this day, whenever someone brings up the 2003 World Series, I always reply that the Yankees won the more important series that year.

While the two teams would meet again the next year and had met four years earlier in the ALCS, for some reason the 2003 series was it.  Just like seven one-game playoffs in a row.  Or more like a one-game series packed into every pitch.  That's what makes this game a ten and makes it, along with the 1978 playoff, one of the most watchable of all the Yankee Classics.

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