A GOMES HOMER MOMENT by Elizabeth Searle
“Ya gotta love baseball,” Brad Pitt as Billy Beane says in MONEY BALL– and even a fair-weather Sox fan like me knows what he means when we get a Gomes Homer Moment.
In my book, Jonny Gomes’ spectacular three-run homer in a must-win game for the Sox rivals the famous winning run by an injured Kirk Gibson which years ago my husband woke me up from a sound sleep to see. My husband, no more a true ball fan than I am, had been idly watching the Series that night and sensed a great moment arising when Gibson on his bad knees hobbled up to the plate.
With Gomes, the Moment came out of nowhere. Struggling with 0-9 batting, Gomes wasn’t even supposed to be in the Game but was slipped in due to an injured player. As a sportswriter noted this morning, you could hear a ‘collective groan’ from Boston as Jonny Gomes gamely stepped up to bat in the sixth inning with two players on base and a tie game.
No one looked more stunned than the boyish bearded Gomes himself when he cracked the ball out of the park. Watching Gomes bound round the bases, a boy-man living his wildest dream, I found myself tearing up and cheering– and wishing I’d woken my sleeping husband upstairs to experience it with me.
The Boston Globe summed it all up today when Christopher L Gasper wrote:
It was the biggest hit of the game, and like an earthquake shifted the landscape of the series….There will be another baseball game played at Fenway Park this year, and we have Jonny Gomes to thank.
As my husband noted, a Moment like this shifts the ‘Mo’ of an individual series. But it does more than that. The great baseball moments– like any great public moment of drama that we wake up our spouses to see– live on.
A Gomes Homer Moment. His ecstatic teammates surrounded him, one pulling hard on Gomes’ beard as if to wake him up and show him this was in fact no dream. The modest Gomes later told interviewers that he had only hoped to be ‘in the box’ last night.
Asked about the beard-pulling, Gomes replied with a grin that ‘the boys’ had indeed pulled his beard pretty hard. “But by that point I wasn’t feeling anything!”
Watching the Gomes Homer on TV from my home near Boston, I was.