Dewayne Wise didn't even have the ball in his possession after the Yankees left fielder leaped into the stands and umpire Mike DiMuro called Indians Jack Hannahan's pop fly an out. DiMuro never even asked to see the ball in Wise's glove and he wouldn't have because it was in the hands of loyal Yankee fan Sal Azzariti— who tried to stick the ball back into Wise's glove before the left fielder lifted himself back onto the field.
The transfer was never completed and Wise just jogged off the field— sans baseball— next to Curtis Granderson, confessing that the "catch" was an act of unintentional pantomime.
"[DiMuro] said, 'Out,' right away," said Wise. "So what was I supposed to do? Run back to left field?"
While Wise dove into the seats for Indians Hannahan's foul ball, Vinnie Pellegrino of West Islip, N.Y. (in red shirt on left with arm visibly raised with ball!), picked up the wayward white sphere from the cement floor of the stands and handed it to his buddy Azzariti— who then tried getting an assist on the play.
"I couldn't do it," Azzariti told the New York Daily News. "But when the ump called him out I just put the ball behind my back. And then I gave it to this boy behind me."
The boy, 7-year old Ben Pikor from Denville, N.J., is now the proud owner of the infamous ball. While this souvineer doesn't have the significance of Derek Jeter's home run ball 12-year old Jeffrey Maier snagged in the 1996 ALCS, it is still another footnote in Yankees history.
At the end of the game— after the Yankees won, 6-4, and Hannahan was tossed for arguing the call— all Yankees manager Joe Girardi had to say about DiMuro was, "Nobody's perfect."