So naturally, in this inverted autumn, Leius hit a 20-game winner's first pitch into the leftfield seats, was pushed out of the dugout by Puckett for the first curtain call of his life, watched from third base as Twins closer Rick Aguilera scaled the 3-2 win and was whisked by glad-handers back to his locker, to which is taped his rookie baseball card. Absurdly, the World Series hero shares space on the card with two other guys. Inanely, the hero denied that even for this one moment he was as big as Matt Dillon. "No way," insisted Leius. "He's big."
The rookie believed himself, sincerely unaware that he had turned the world—or at least the World Series—on its ear.