BOSTON — Boston police officer Steve Horgan never imagined that a simple gesture celebrating a thrilling comeback by the Red Sox would create such a buzz.
Horgan raised his arms over his head in jubilation after David Ortiz’s eighth-inning grand slam tied Sunday’s AL championship series game against the Detroit Tigers and sparked the Red Sox to a 6-5 win, tying the series at one game apiece.
Photos captured Horgan’s raised arms next to the upturned legs of Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, who tumbled over the short wall into the Fenway Park bullpen in an unsuccessful attempt to catch the ball.
The result: a flood of media attention and a new name for his joyous, hands-up gesture: “Horganing.”
It all seems a bit too much for Horgan, 50, a laid-back, 27-year veteran of the Boston police department who seems stunned by all the attention.
“I’m humbled by it,” Horgan said Tuesday at Boston police headquarters.
Horgan, a patrolman, said he’s been assigned to various duties at Fenway Park for the last 20 years. This is his first year in the bullpen.
Horgan said when he first saw the ball coming, he thought Hunter was going to catch it. When he didn’t, Horgan reacted instinctively.
“Because I’m a Sox fan, I just raised my arms,” he said.
Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said Horgan has taken all the attention in good humor, agreeing to strike his pose for countless photos.
“It’s great that Steve is now part of Red Sox history,” Davis said.
Hunter initially indicated that he was upset with Horgan for cheering before going to help him, but later said he was only kidding.
Horgan said that as soon as he saw Hunter fall, he started walking toward him to try to help. Other players were already at his side motioning for medical help.
Hunter, 38, is a five-time All Star who has developed into one of the Tigers’ emotional leaders. He admitted Monday that he was shaken up, but was in the lineup Tuesday for Game 3, as the series resumed in Detroit. He was placed second in the lineup and singled in his first at-bat.
“I was going to give it every attempt to go out there and try to catch that ball,” Hunter said. “If it takes for me to get knocked out or die on the field, I guess I’ve got to do it.”
AP Sports Writer Noah Trister contributed to this report from Detroit.