Top 10 Home Runs (World Series)
To celebrate the anniversary of Joe Carter’s World Series winning walk-off home run, we are compiling a list of the top ten home runs in league playoffs (part 1) and the World Series (part 2).
Below is Part 2 which includes the only two World Series wining walk-off home runs by Bill Mazeroski and Joe Carter. We have separate blog posts about the homers by Mazeroski, Carlton Fisk, Reggie Jackson and Kirk Gibson.
Babe Ruth – New York Yankees v. Chicago Cubs (Game 3)
In his last World Series, Babe Ruth stepped to plate in the 5th inning with the game time 4-4. Ruth pointed to centerfield with two strikes on him and hit the next pitch into the centerfield stands. It was his second home run of the game. Lou Gehrig followed Ruth at bat with his second home run of the game. The Yankees would go on to win the game 7-5 en route to a sweep of the Cubs.
Bill Mazeroski – Pittsburgh Pirates v New York Yankees (Game 7)
Every kid’s dream. Game 7 of the World Series, bottom of the 9th, the game on the line. Bill Mazeroski stepped to plate at Forbes Field against the heavily favored Yankees (who had won 10 pennants in the last 12 years) and hit the first World Series winning walk-off home run. It is still considered the greatest home run of all-time by many.
Carlton Fisk – Boston Red Sox v Cincinnati Reds (Game 6)
Game 6 of the 1975 World Series began on October 21, but would not end until the wee hours of the next day. An epic battle that culminated with one of the most famous World Series home runs when Carlton Fisk’s walk off homer in the 12th won it for the Red Sox. The irony is that the Game 6 heroics overshadow Game 7 in which the Reds, not the Red Sox won the World Series. The game and the World Series are consistently voted as among the best ever played.
Reggie Jackson – New York Yankees v Los Angeles Dodgers (Game 6)
In Game 6, the Dodgers jumped to a 2-0 lead Jackson did not swing his first at bat, as he walked on four pitches and scored after Chris Chambliss’ home run.
In the 4th inning, Jackson came to bat with the Dodgers leading 3-2. Jackson hit a two-run homer on the first pitch from starter Burt Hooten to give the Yankees the lead for good. In the fifth inning he connected on his first pitch from Elias Sosa for another two-run homer extending the lead to 7-3. Then in the 8th, he hit the first pitch from Charlie Hough 475 feet into the stands delighting a Yankee Stadium crowd that was chanting “Reggie”.
Jackson hit four home runs on his last four swings over Game 5 and 6. Jackson was dubbed “Mr. October” for his clutch play. The Yankees won Game 6 8-4 for their first World Series title in 25 years.
Kirk Gibson – Los Angeles Dodgers v Oakland A’s (Game 1)
In the bottom of the 9th inning, the heavily favored A’s were closing in on a 4-3 victory with ace reliever Eckersley on the mound. He quickly retired the first two batters, walked the third and then Kirk Gibson stepped to the plate as a pinch hitter. Gibson was hobbled with a pulled left hamstring and a swollen right knee, but in his only at bat in this World Series he took an Eckersley fastball into the right field stands for one of the most dramatic home runs in World Series history.
As Vin Scully’s play-by-play explained:
High fly ball into right field! She i-i-i-i-is gone! (long pause where only crowd noise can be heard) In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!
With this win the Dodgers would go on to stun the A’s 4-1.
Kirby Puckett – Minnesota Twins v Atlanta Braves (Game 6)
Kirby Puckett forced game a 7 with his 11th inning solo blast. The Twins would win Game 7 1-0 in 10 innings, with Jack Morris pitching a 10-inning shutout.
Joe Carter – Toronto Blue Jays v Philadelphia Phillies (Game 6)
Since World War 2, only three teams other than the Yankees have repeated as World Series Champions – the Oakland A’s, Cincinnati Reds and in 1993 the Toronto Blue Jays thanks to Joe Carter’s 9th inning 3-run blast in Game 6 to win the Series. It is the only second time the World Series has ended with a home run.
Scott Speezio – Anaheim Angels v San Francisco Giants (Game 6)
Leading 5–0 with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, eight outs away from the Giants’ first World Series title in San Francisco, Giants manager Dusty Baker pulled their starting pitcher Russ Ortiz after Ortiz gave up consecutive singles. During the pitching change the Rally Monkey came on the JumboTron, sending 45,037 Angels fans into a frenzy. Angels first baseman Scott Spiezio came to the plate and fouled off pitch after pitch before finally hitting a three-run home run that fueled the Angels comeback. The rally continued with three runs in the eighth inning, The comeback from a five-run deficit was the largest in World Series history for an elimination game. The Angels would go on to win the decisive Game 7 for their first and only World Series title.
Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals v Texas Rangers (Game 3)
After being hitless in the first two games of the Series, Albert Pujols exploded with a 5-6 performance with three home runs leading the Cardinals to a 16-7 win. The Cardinals would win the Series in 7 games.
Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants v Detroit Tigers (Game 1)
Pablo Sandoval joined Ruth, Jackson, Pujols in the 3-homer club, with his third home run in Game 1. The Giants won the game 8-3 and went on to sweep the Tigers.