Darren Baker was famously rescued from a home plate collision by J.T. Snow, although here he’s pointing to the number of former Long Beach State coach Dave Snow (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
LONG BEACH, Calif.—Darren Baker has heard about it for most of his life. Just this week alone at the Area Code Games, Baker said it’s been brought up to him probably 20 times—the defining moment of his young life. It’s a moment he doesn’t even remember. He was too young.
But he’s seen the video clip—from 2002, Game 5 of the World Series. With two runners on, Giants outfielder Kenny Lofton rips a pitch to deep right field, off the wall, for a triple. Now, here’s the twist: As J.T. Snow prepares to cross home plate, with David Bell motoring closely behind him, he sees the 3-year-old, overzealous bat boy running into the basepath, putting himself in tremendous danger. Instinctively, Snow grabs the tiny boy by his jacket as he crosses home plate, pulling him into his arms and away from a surefire collision at the plate.