Most Inspiring Moments in Every MLB Team's History
You can call them what you want—inspiring, motivating, memorable, unforgettable.
We've all experienced moments like that throughout the course of our time as baseball fans.
Sometimes these memorable moments vault our teams to a World Series championship, other moments transcend the game itself.
Either way, they won't soon be forgotten.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Walk-off Win to Clinch 2001 World Series
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Luis Gonzalez led the charge in the late innings of the 2001 World Series, a matchup played under more of a national microscope as the New York Yankees represented the American League just two months removed from the 9/11 attacks.
Gonzalez's walk-off hit was a memorable moment for all fans in the southwest, and was all that much more impressive because someone was actually able to crack the almost always unflappable Mariano Rivera, who boasts a postseason ERA that is virtually perfect.
Atlanta Braves: Hank Aaron Passes the Bambino
He's since been passed by Barry Bonds, but in the eyes of many, Hank Aaron is still considered baseball's home run champ as on April 8, 1974, Aaron would blast No. 715 off the Los Angeles Dodgers, taking his place in the history books with an entire nation watching.
Baltimore Orioles: Cal Ripken Jr. Becomes Baseball's Iron Man
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Another record that likely won't ever be broken, Cal Ripken Jr. made history on Sept. 6, 1995 when he broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played, a record that has been voted the most memorable moment in baseball history.
Boston Red Sox: The Curse Is Broken in Beantown
The Boston Red Sox championship run took shape in the ALCS when they were able to come back from a 3-0 deficit to take down the Yankees in seven games.
It was in the World Series that Sox fans heard the best words they could've possibly heard, "The Boston Red Sox are World Champions," as they swept the St. Louis Cardinals on October 27, 2004 to lift their nearly century-long curse and head into the record books.
Chicago Cubs: Rick Monday Saves American Flag
During a game at Dodger Stadium in 1976, the nation's bicentennial year, Chicago Cubs center fielder Rick Monday was manning center field when two protesters took to the field and attempted to burn an American flag.
Monday quickly swooped into action, immediately taking the flag from the protesters. Baseball is about as American as it gets, and seeing Monday stand up for the freedoms we have had to strike a chord with anyone watching.
Chicago White Sox: Winning First World Series in Nearly 90 Years
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Having been in a championship drought since 1917, the Chicago White Sox wouldn't be denied their World Series title in 2005.
Facing the Houston Astros, the White Sox won a closely contested series. Though they would sweep the series, every game was decided by two runs or less.
Cincinnati Reds: Reds Shock the Bash Brothers
Heading into the 1990 Fall Classic as heavy favorites, the Bash Brothers, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, were supposed to lead the A's to the title as they faced the underdog Cincinnati Reds.
Things wouldn't go as planned for the Bash Bros, as their disappointing performances, coupled with inspired performances from the Cincinnati Reds, would lead to the Reds sweeping the A's in an improbable World Series finish.
Cleveland Indians: Frank Robinson Is First African-American Manager
Long after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier as a player, Frank Robinson did the same for the Cleveland Indians at the managerial level.
Opening Day in 1975 marked the first time an African-American would manage a major league team, as Robinson, a player-manager would go deep in his first at-bat.
Colorado Rockies: Beating out Padres in 2007 1-Game Playoff
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162 games wouldn't be enough to decide the NL Wild Card in 2007, as the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres would square off with a postseason berth at stake.
The game would head to extra innings, when the Rockies would rally to score three runs in the 13th inning after the Padres took a two run lead in the top of the inning.
The Rockies would ride the momentum all the way to the World Series, though they would be swept by the Boston Red Sox.
Detroit Tigers: Armando Gallaraga Reacts to (Im)perfect Game
As we all know, perfect games aren't seen often. With only a few pitchers ever having put up such a performance, you wouldn't have blamed Armando Gallaraga for going off the deep end after umpire Jim Joyce robbed him of his place in the record books.
Gallaraga took the high road though, and was seen the next day presenting the lineup card to Joyce, a moment that choked up the longtime umpire in a true show of sportsmanship.
Houston Astros: 6-Man No-Hitter
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You could argue that Mike Scott's no-hitter to clinch a postseason berth in 1986 would be a more memorable moment in Astros history.
But the collaboration of five relief pitchers (Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner) combining with starter Roy Oswalt for a no-hitter has to rank high up on Astros fans' lists of more memorable performances.
Kansas City Royals: Winning I-70 Series over Cardinals
The I-70 Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals meeting in the 1985 Fall Classic, with a number of comebacks keying the Royals run to a championship.
Falling behind multiple times in Game 6, a controversial call by umpire Don Denkinger would add to the tension of a game the Royals would eventually win after a couple of Cardinal errors.
The Royals would then shut the door in grand fashion in Game 7, winning 11-0 for their only World Series title.
Los Angeles Angels: Halos Take Home the Hardware for the First Time
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Led by a three-home run, eight-RBI effort from third baseman Troy Glaus (the eventual series MVP), the Los Angeles Angels would win the first World Series championship during the 41-year history of the team, knocking off the San Francisco Giants.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier
In what is one of the most pivotal moments in the game's history, Jackie Robinson made history when he became the first African-American to play in major league baseball on April 15, 1947.
The move was met with mixed reactions from both the public and the team, though Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher put that to bed when he stood up for Robinson, from Out of the Shadows: African American Baseball from the Cuban Giants to Jackie Robinson (2005) by Bill Kirwin:
I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a f*****' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.
Miami Marlins: Extra Inning World Series Clinching Win in 1997
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As the Miami Marlins set their sights on returning to glory this season, they'll likely look back on the 1997 Marlins team for inspiration.
In what was the first World Series in which a wild-card team competed, the Marlins overtook the Cleveland Indians in extra innings of Game 7, only the third time a Game 7 went to extras.
Milwaukee Brewers: 1982 ALCS Win
Milwaukee Brewers fans were set in a frenzy in the fall of 1982, as the team would take on the California Angels in the ALCS, winning a very evenly fought matchup in five games.
The deciding game was the most memorable, as the Brewers would come back from two deficits before Cecil Cooper would put the Brewers up for good with a bases loaded single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Minnesota Twins: Kirby Puckett's Game-6 Heroics
In what was one of the best World Series of all time, the Minnesota Twins were propelled to victory in Game 6 thanks to a walk-off home run from center-field star Kirby Puckett.
The Hall of Famer is still missed in Twins Territory, as his infectious smile made it hard not to love everything he did on the field.
New York Mets: Buckner Helps Mets to Second World Series Win
The words "It gets through Buckner" haunted Boston Red Sox fans for many years, as they saw a World Series championship slip through their hands.
For every one of those Sox fans, however, there was a Mets fan that was experiencing one of the best moments in their franchise's history.
New York Yankees: World Series in NYC After 9/11 Attacks
With so many options to choose from in the storied history of the New York Yankees, I opted to go with a moment that gave an entire nation the chills, as the United States stood tall in the face of the adversity it was facing at the time.
Before the first game of the 2001 World Series in New York got underway, then-President George W. Bush took to the mound and delivered the game's ceremonial first pitch, a perfect strike that electrified the crowd as they chanted "USA, USA, USA" while enjoying the freedoms that make this country great.
Oakland Athletics: Rickey Steals His Way into the Record Book
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Taking one of the best individual accomplishments a player can earn, Rickey Henderson surpassed the previous record holder, Lou Brock, with his 939th stolen base.
Henderson wasn't done there, as he'd fight his way to another 467 swipes, finishing his career with an astounding 1,406 career steals in addition to the single-season record of 130 steals he recorded in 1982.
Philadelphia Phillies: Halladay Tosses No-No in 1st Postseason Game
After years of effective pitching, Roy Halladay still had yet to make a postseason appearance as of the 2010 season.
That all changed when he faced off against the Cincinnati Reds during game one of the NLDS. Many wondered how Halladay would respond to the pressure on such a big stage for the first time.
Well, he responded better than anyone could have expected as he hurled a no-hitter, becoming just the second pitcher in baseball history to do so.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Roberto Clemente
Though his life was cut tragically short, Roberto Clemente did manage to reach a milestone few players have reached when he got his 3,000th hit during the last day of the regular season in 1971.
He'll always be missed in Pittsburgh, though his legacy of giving and helping others will no doubt live on as an inspiration to all.
San Diego Padres: Making First World Series Appearance in 1984
The San Diego Padres' run to a World Series berth included a trip through Chicago, where the team would rally from a 2-0 series deficit to take the next three games, making a rally in Game 5 after the Cubs took an early 3-0 lead.
They'd come up short in the Fall Classic, losing the series four games to one, but would still give San Diego fans many great memories from one of their finest fall performances.
San Francisco Giants: The Shot Heard Round the World
60 years later, the "Shot Heard 'Round The World" call is still one of the most memorable moments in baseball memory and certainly one of the most recognizable moments in Giants history.
Seattle Mariners: Edgar Martinez Double Sends M's to ALCS
In what is one of the more memorable moments in Kingdome history, Edgar Martinez set Seattle ablaze with his late inning heroics as the Mariners would defeat the Yankees in walk-off fashion, earning a trip to the ALCS.
St. Louis Cardinals: David Freese's Walk-off Home Run
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The St. Louis Cardinals are a storied franchise entrenched in history, so it's hard to pick one inspirational moment.
The one freshest in our memory is none other than local boy David Freese putting on an MVP winning performance in the 2011 World Series, propelling his team to a championship over the Texas Rangers.
Tampa Bay Rays: Improbable Last-Minute Heroics
The final day of this past year's regular season showcased everything that's great about baseball, as the Tampa Bay Rays would complete their improbable comeback in great fashion, overtaking the Boston Red Sox for the AL Wild-Card berth.
Texas Rangers: Josh Hamilton Leaves His Mark on the HR Derby
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After getting off to a blistering start in the 2008 season, Josh Hamilton took his hot bat to the Midsummer Classic, where he would take part in the Home Run Derby at Yankee Stadium.
He was a fan favorite throughout the entire weekend, showing that one can truly overcome personal struggle to end up on top.
Hamilton wowed fans early with a record 28 home runs in the opening round, but he would ultimately come up short in the end as Justin Morneau would take home the Derby trophy.
Toronto Blue Jays: Joe Carter's World Series Clinching Home Run
Clinching the Toronto Blue Jays' second consecutive World Series title, Joe Carter's Game 6 walk-off home run would put Canadians in a frenzy and make for one of the most memorable moments in World Series history.
Washington Nationals: Gary Carter Opens Olympic Stadium in Style
Opening to great excitement for Expos fans, the first homestand at Olympic Stadium featured star Gary Carter becoming the first player in the young history of the franchise to go deep three times in a game, doing so in a tilt against the Pittsburgh Pirates.