In sports, there is often nothing more dramatic and tense than a team with a chance to win a game with a walk off. While there have been hundreds and hundreds of walk off wins, there are a select few that will live on as historic in perpetuity. Here are five of the most dramatic and thrilling walk off wins in baseball history.
1. Mickey Mantle Calls his Shot
While this would have been an embarrassing moment if it didn’t work out, the fact that it did makes it one amazing story. In the bottom of the ninth during a game in the 1964 World Series, the Cardinals brought in a relief pitcher to face Mantle. While talking to the on-deck batter, Mantle told him to go back to the dugout as his services weren’t needed, because Mantle was going to win the game. And low and behold, Mantle delivered a huge home run to win the game for his team, just as he said he would.
2. The Most Unlikely Walk Off Ever
While a simple walk off win in Game 2 of the World Series in 2005 may not seem like a legendary play, this is simply one of the most improbable things in MLB history. In the entire regular season (a total of 568 at-bats), Scott Posednik hadn’t hit even a single home run. But on this night, it was his night as he hit a huge home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for the White Sox. He knew the pitcher would challenge him with a fastball and he drilled it out of the park.
3. Scott Hatteberg Gives the A’s 20 Straight Wins
Heading into this game, the Oakland A’s were at 19 straight wins and was one win away from setting the AL record for most consecutive wins. The A’s were once up 11-0 in the game and the record was theirs. Unfortunately, their opponents climbed back and the game was knotted up at 11-11 during the bottom of the ninth. Then, Hatteberg stepped up to the plate and blasted a home run to set the new record for most straight AL wins.
4. David Ortiz Helps Break the Curse of the Bambino
With the Curse of the Bambino firmly in place and the Red Sox down 3-0 in the ALCS against the Yankees, the Red Sox were about to lose their best chance to break the curse and win the World Series. In Game 4 of the World Series in 2004, the game was down to the final inning, and David Ortiz gave them the spark they needed as he hit a home run to give them another game. And as I’m sure you know, they actually went on to come back and win the series and ultimately the World Series as well.
5. Game 7, World Series Clinching Walk Off HR
This is the only game 7, World Series clinching walk off HR and is probably the most famous home run of all time. Even crazier, it came from a player who wasn’t seen as a home run hitter (Bill Mazeroski) in a 9-9 barnburner. Mazeroski gave the Pirates the World Series win over the Yankees, despite being outscored in the 7 game series by a total of 55-27. Of all the crazy ways to win a game and a World Series, this comes in at the top of that list easily.