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Big League Stew

Boston cop in Fenway Park bullpen celebrates David Ortiz’s grand slam as Torii Hunter flips out

David Brown
Big League Stew

It's like one of the best Life magazine photos, a particularly iconic moment that feels timeless the instant you see it for the first time: As Yahoo Sports' columnist Jeff Passan notes, a Boston police officer named Steve Horgan, whose beat Sunday night was the bullpen at Fenway Park, celebrated the score-tying grand slam by David Ortiz by pumping two first in the air in just the right way, at just the right moment.

The photographer, Stan Grossfeld of the Boston Globe, immortalized Horgan — along with outfielder Torii Hunter of the Detroit Tigers — the moment in the bottom of the eighth inning when Ortiz's drive to right cleared the fence in right and took Hunter with it, tying the score in Game 2 of the of the American League Championship Series. It's even got "V" for "victory" in there — twice. Horgan, 50 years old and a 27-year vet of the force, did one with his arms. Hunter, not able to defy the laws of physics, did one with his legs.

[Photos: ALCS – Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox]

The combination of little events that made the big photo happen are too many to calculate, but Grossman was ready to capture the moment at its apex in a way that video or other animation — no matter how amazing in its own way — could not. As a result, we now have what will be considered one of the best photos in the history of baseball. And it happened last night.

ESPN Boston has more details on the Boston cop who, as reporter Joe McDonald wrote, put a happy spin on the term "first responder":

The replay, showed over and over, saw Hunter flipping into the bullpen and Horgan celebrating. The officer’s phone began to light up with text messages of the picture.

“I’ve got about 20 of them on my cell phone,” he said.

In true Boston fashion, as soon as he realized Hunter could have hurt himself on the play, Horgan quickly went over, checked on him and called for help just in case. The Red Sox pitchers in the bullpen also checked on Hunter, and a Detroit team trainer came running out from the dugout to tend to him.

Hunter said he was OK, if a bit dazed and disappointed. It's also too bad for him — not only did the Red Sox win 6-5 to tie the series 1-all, it's just Hunter's legs in the picture.

View photo

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(Getty)

The postseason marches on!
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