One irrepressible moment of joy turned an anonymous cop into the face of a Red Sox rally.
As David Ortiz’s game-tying grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS cleared the right-field fence at Fenway Park — with Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter flipping into the bullpen — Steve Horgan, a 27-year veteran of the Boston police force, secured an iconic moment in his city’s sports history with his arms raised in jubilation.
“I couldn’t even hear myself it was so loud,” Horgan told ESPNBoston.com. “I can’t believe it. I don’t know what to think. I can’t believe it. It was an awesome feeling.”
After losing Game 1, the Red Sox appeared to be headed to Detroit down two games after falling behind 5-0 on Sunday night, but Ortiz’s grand slam set the stage for Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning of the 6-5 win.
“Oh, it was awesome. It was great. David Ortiz. Grand slam. It was great,” said Horgan, who checked on Hunter and called for help after realizing the All-Star outfielder could be hurt.
After Ortiz’s home run, Horgan quickly learned how famous his face had just become. With the replay of one of the biggest hits in franchise history being played over and over, Horgan soon received multiple text messages with pictures of his celebration.
“I’ve got about 20 of them on my cell phone,” he said.
Horgan, who was greeted by a few Red Sox players after the game in the players’ parking lot, later recreated the pose in a picture with team owner John Henry, after being introduced by Henry’s wife, Linda.
“It’s awesome. The guys are great. The players are great and the coaches are really great,” he said.
Horgan is working his first full season patrolling the Red Sox bullpen, and he likely will keep his post for some time as a good-luck charm. The 50-year-old Massachusetts native will do his part, too.
Like many of the team’s players and fans, Horgan began to grow his beard at the start of the playoffs, having only trimmed it once. Now he says he won’t touch it until the season is over.
After the game, his boss told him not to shave it.
Republished with permission of The New York Post