Fans at Yankee Stadium may have seen a glimpse of baseball's future before they celebrated a pair of memorable moments authored by a player whose career largely belongs to the sport's past.
With Game 3 of the division series between the Orioles and Yankees level at 1-1, Baltimore phenom Manny Machado stepped up to the plate to lead off the fifth inning. On the first pitch he saw from Yankees starter Hideki Kuroda, an 84-mph slider hung over the middle of the plate, the 20-year-old smacked it to his team's bullpen over the wall in left-center field. With the solo shot, Machado became the second youngest ballplayer ever to hit a home run in the postseason (Andruw Jones was the youngest at age 19).
Of course, Machado's milestone blast will be remembered only as the prelude to Raul Ibanez' unbelievable performance. Replacing Alex Rodriguez as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, the 40-year-old forced extra innings with solo shot that erased the edge Machado had given the Orioles. In the 12th, Ibanez became the oldest Major League Baseball player to hit a walk-off home run as well as the oldest to ever hit two homers in a playoff game -- lifting the Yankees to a thrilling 3-2 win.
Machado's homer was also historically significant for the O's, as he became the youngest player in franchise history to hit a home run in the playoffs. Along with fellow rookie Ryan Flaherty's home run in the third inning, the two became the first pair of rookies teammates ever to hit homers in the same postseason game according to Adam Rosenbloom of MLB.com.
Yankees fans take note, Machado might just be getting started. Per Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, all players under 21-year-old who have ever homered in the postseason have hit multiple longballs during that campaign.
Including Machado, only three other 20-year-olds have ever homered in the postseason. Scroll down below to see the youngest players to ever hit home runs in the postseason.
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