Graeme Lloyd was a member of the 1996 and 1998 World Series champion teams and served as one of the unsung heroes of the 1996 Fall Classic. In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 4, he relieved Mariano Rivera and induced Fred McGriff into an inning-ending double play to send the game to extras.
Lloyd spoke to NY Sports Day on Old-Timers’ Day.
NYSD: What’s your favorite part of this day?
GL: It changes year to year. This year I’ve passed a few people I haven’t talked to for a while. Talked to a few people and just asked questions again. I like talking to Dr. Bobby Brown and some of these gentlemen that have been around for so many generations of Yankee fans and Yankee players. It’s just a blast. It gets better each year for me to come back.
NYSD: When you were playing who was your favorite Old-timer?
GL: It was kind of wild to see Joe DiMaggio and all of them. To me, coming from Australia, I didn’t know the gravity of it, that’s for sure, until you see the stats, you watch the documentaries and it shows you how great these players were. And I was lucky to play with so many guys who are going to be Hall of Famers. It’s just a pleasure coming back and there’s too many to answer the question in one.
NYSD: Is it amazing how popular you still are here considering it’s more than 20 years later?
GL: Yeah. In Australia I walk down the street and beer anyone said anything. I wear a New York hat, it doesn’t matter. I come to New York, I was walking down the Madison Square the other day and someone said, ‘You’re Graeme Lloyd.’ And I’m thinking the same thing. It’s been 21 years. A little grayer, a little less hair here and there. That shows you the fans and how into their sports they are so it’s pretty cool.
NYSD: Was there pressure being the Fred McGriff-stopper in that World Series?
GL: Yeah. He’s an amazing hitter. That was one of my jobs. Him and Chipper Jones, too, switch him around from left to right. Those are the things, you know what you’ve got to do and go out there and get the job done but to be put in that situation to get those guys out, it was an awesome time.