August 29th, 1990. I was just a kid attending his second major league game, seated somewhere way up in the Upper Deck at Baltimore’s old Memorial Stadium. I was still stunned by how green everything was, and especially stoked to get to the see the Yankees. You see, they were a bit of a joke at the time, but I knew all about their farm system – Bernie Williams, Gerald Williams, Robert Eenhoorn, Hensley Meulens – all the guys who were big back then. In fact, I had a Yankees hat that I wore in secret because I was such a fan of their farm system. Here was a chance to see, up close and personal, one of the most prolific fruits of that system to date: Kevin Maas.
I remember watching him through binoculars in BP, hitting moonshots with his weirdass crouch/stance. I wondered if his older brother, Jason, who was still down in Columbus but would surely make it, used the same stance.
Of course, the Yanks ended up winning it, disappointing me as I WAS an Orioles fan, after all (Craig Worthington was our goat that day), but I got to see Maas rip a home run, his 16th of the season.
After that game I started imitating his stance in our backyard games, and I found I was able to uncoil a lot more quickly, giving me a lot more drive on the ball, but also requiring me to start my swing a little bit early, thereby hurting my pitch judgment just a tad. I wonder if that’s what ultimately did Maas in.
Anyway, I’m sure I’ll write more about him in time.