Just like Greg Maddux tells us in that classic commercial, chicks dig the long ball. Everyone can appreciate a good home run, especially one that helped a team stave off elimination, or maybe a long bomb that sent a fierce rival home for the fall.
Or how about one that delivers a world championship?
Those kinds of long balls only appear during one month in the baseball calendar: October. It’s the time when legends are made and World Series are won, and the home run plays a major part in attaining them both. These in particular have been among the biggest, most memorable homers ever launched into the chill October night.
Here are 10 of the Biggest MLB Postseason Home Runs:
1. Bill Mazeroski
Does it get much bigger than hitting a home run in the bottom of the 9th of Game 7 to walk off with the World Series?
No, it doesn’t.
That’s why Bill Mazeroski’s home run in 1960 is the biggest home run in postseason history. In the 110-year history of the World Series, it still stands as the only Game 7 walk-off home run.
The Pirates second baseman, who was known more for his glove than his bat, took Yankees reliever Ralph Terry’s pitch deep over the left field wall in Forbes Field as the Pittsburgh crowd celebrated its third ever World Series crown.
2. Bobby Thomson
You know a home run is big when it gets its own awesome name, like the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World.”
“The Shot” was made by Bobby Thomson during the deciding game of the 1951 pennant playoff series* between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Thomson’s blast off Ralph Branca sent the Giants to the World Series, as announcer Russ Hodges’ cried “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!”
*“Technically,” this wasn’t a postseason game, since the old format considered only the World Series as the “postseason,” but it was still a playoff series and it was awesome.
3. Joe Carter
How exactly does it feel to hit the World Series-clinching home run in walk-off fashion, as the deafening sound of exploding fireworks and delirious celebration consume an enclosed dome?
Only Joe Carter can truly tell you. The former Blue Jay great delivered the deciding blow in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series as Toronto defeated the Philadelphia Phillies to capture their second successive championship.
With that decisive hit, Carter joined Bill Mazeroski as the only two men in history to end the World Series with a home run.
4. Kirk Gibson
It’s Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers are down 4-3 to the Oakland Athletics.
Hobbled due to injury, the Dodgers call Kirk Gibson to pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th and face the great closer Dennis Eckersley. With 2 outs and a full count, Gibson pounces at a slider and sends it over the right field wall in Dodger Stadium.
And in one of the most iconic home run trots in baseball history, an elated Gibson pumps his fists as he barely manages to round the base paths.
5. Carlton Fisk
There have been some very memorable home runs hit in the Boston Red Sox franchise’s illustrious (and often tortured) history, but none more so than Carlton Fisk’s in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. The Boston catcher almost literally willed the ball to keep fair as his 12th inning homer forced a Game 7 with the Reds. Unfortunately, like most of the Red Sox history before 2004, this story ended in defeat.
6. Kirby Puckett
The late, great Kirby Puckett will always be remembered as the hero of the 1991 World Series. With the Twins one game away from elimination, Puckett came through in the biggest possible way. In the 11th inning, Puckett drilled a walk-off homer to left-center field from Braves reliever Charlie Leibrandt to force a Game 7. The Twins would go on to claim its third World Series crown.
7. David Ortiz
David Roberts’ stolen base and Mariano Rivera’s blown save were both pretty big, but in the 12th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, David Ortiz delivered arguably the biggest 2-run homer in the Red Sox’s history. The Boston slugger’s homer not only saved the game, it set off the chain reaction which led to the greatest comeback in baseball history and the exorcism of the “Curse of the Bambino.”
8. Aaron Boone
If there were still Boston Red Sox fans in 2003 who didn’t believe in the Curse of the Bambino, then Aaron Boone’s home run in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS probably changed their minds.
Boston fans will remember manager Grady Little for not yanking ace Pedro Martinez against the Yanks, who then scored 3 runs in the eighth to force extra innings. And in the bottom of the 11th, Aaron Boone stepped up to hit a walk-off home run to send the Yankees back to the World Series – once again at the Red Sox’s expense.
9. Babe Ruth
No list of “The Biggest” anything in baseball is complete without an appearance from The Babe. Arguably the biggest postseason homer Ruth ever hit was against the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series.
After getting heckled furiously by the Cubs, the Babe got even on the field. Ruth took the first pitch for a strike from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. He took the another strike, and then held up his hand, pointing at the direction of center field. And the third pitch, he launched to the deepest part of center field.
Although the actual intention of his pointing gesture has been disputed, the legend has nonetheless taken hold in baseball lore: The Babe called his shot.
10. Reggie Jackson
When the playoffs and big home runs are involved, one name instantly comes to mind: Mr. October.
Three of his biggest postseason bombs came during one October night in 1977 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. With the Yankees one win away from capturing the World Series, Reggie Jackson sealed their victory. Jackson would see seven pitches that night: he took four balls in a walk; he then turned the other three pitches into three home runs.
Mr. October was named MVP as the Yankees claimed yet another World Series crown.[sc:MLB490banner ]
What other great MLB Postseason home runs deserve to be on this list? Share your picks with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, and check out odds and lines for MLB postseason games over at the sportsbook.
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