NEW YORK -- Aaron Boone and Bucky Dent, who hit two of the biggest homers in Yankees history, were on hand for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday to throw out the ceremonial first pitches and perhaps give the Bombers some much-needed good luck.
Boone and Dent didn't disappoint either, as their throws were on target and the Yankees avoided elimination with a 7-2 win over the Rangers to send the series back to Texas for a sixth game.
"It's very exciting to be here at Yankee Stadium in the ALCS on a great night for baseball with great weather," Boone said. "It was exciting going through the clubhouse seeing some of the guys, and it's just exciting to be part of such a great event."
Boone, who hit an 11th-inning home run off Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS to send the Yankees to the World Series, said he's constantly reminded about that big hit by Yankees fans wherever he goes.
"Probably not a day that goes by that somebody doesn't stop me and ask me about it and tell me about their experience, too," said Boone, 37. "To have a small place in the history of this great rivalry is pretty humbling."
Dent, meanwhile, hit his famous shot in the 1978 AL East tiebreaker against the Red Sox, when his three-run homer gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead in a game they eventually won 5-4 to secure the division title.
"It's amazing that 32 years ago it happened," Dent said. "It seems just like yesterday, because people still love talking about it and I still love talking about it."
Dent also said it's a daily occurrence for Yankees fans to stop him to talk about his home run, which was one of only 40 he hit during his 12-year big league career.
"Every day people come up to me and talk about it," said Dent, 58. "They tell me how old they were, where they were. And I love hearing the stories. It's a lot of fun."
And Dent also said he still believes the Yankees can overcome their 3-2 deficit against the Rangers and head to the World Series for a second straight season.
"They can do it," Dent said. "It's down to do-or-die now, but good things could happen. I'm hoping [the good luck] rubs off. It's just a lot of fun to be back."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.