He hit it twenty years ago today. Last fall I wrote an essay for Sports on Earth about my college girlfriend, New York pizza and Carter’s memorable home run:
It had been a long day but once we got home from the wedding and changed our clothes we were still hungry so we walked a few blocks to Little Italy to grab a slice. The only people in the joint were the guys working behind the counter. It was nearly midnight and the heat from the oven cut through the cool air from the outside. It smelled like tomatoes, garlic and charred dough, an aroma New Yorkers immediately recognize as something unalterably good.
My girlfriend told me to order for myself as she went to the rest room, so I did, then sat at a table away from the front door. I looked up at the TV hanging from the corner of the room and there was Rickey Henderson, the guy I’d patterned my swing after in high school. He was a Blue Jay now, playing against the Phillies in the 1993 World Series. It had been four years since he had been on the Yankees, but it felt like longer.
It took a moment to figure out the situation but when I did — bottom of the ninth, Jays down by a run in the sixth game of the Series — I was alert.