A home run in and of itself is a rare occurrence. However, not all home runs are created equal. Some home runs change seasons. Some home runs crush dreams at the same time as they fulfill others.
That is what we are going to talk about today. We are going to celebrate the 20 most memorable home runs in Major League Baseball history. Enjoy!
You all know this story. In 1932, was Babe Ruth really pointing exactly where he was about to hit a home run on the next pitch? Everyone has an opinion, but the point remains that this is one of the most memorable home runs of all time.
Full disclosure time. I am a Philadelphia Phillies fan. Because of that, this is one of the most painful videos on YouTube. However, it was definitely memorable, and Mitch Williams was a dependable closer.
Having him serve up a home run that way was definitely improbable in a World Series contest.
Bucky Dent only hit 40 home runs in 12 professional seasons. However, one of those stands out.
The New York Yankees were down 2-0 to the Boston Red Sox in a one-game playoff for the division championship. However, in the top of the seventh, Dent hit this three-run home run to put the Yankees ahead for good and reinforce the Curse of the Bambino.
Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career home run record on April 8, 1974. Why was this improbable? Hank Aaron was one of only two men to ever hit 715 home runs. He had a pretty incredible career to be able to even reach that milestone, and obviously, the defining moment of his career needs to be mentioned here.
In the bottom of the 12th inning against the famed Big Red Machine, Carlton Fisk hit a monster home run over the Green Monster to give the Boston Red Sox the walk-off victory in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
Although Fisk did have some power throughout his career, a walk-off home run in the World Series is always improbable.
Barry Bonds is obviously a polarizing figure. However, the simple fact that he hit more home runs than any other player in baseball history is pretty improbable. Think about it—the probability of hitting 756 home runs is one successful case divided by the total number of players that have ever played Major League Baseball.
Although I don't know that number, it is an incredibly tiny percentage.
A lot of these home runs seem to take place between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. However, in this walk-off home run, Aaron Boone prolonged the agony of Red Sox nation for a few more years. They were on the doorstep of the 2003 World Series, and the Curse of the Bambino survived for a few more seasons.
On October 1, 1961, Roger Maris hit a home run that no one thought he could hit. The previous season, he had hit 39 home runs, but 39 is still a long way from 61. As a matter of fact, people believed that Mickey Mantle would be the one to challenge the Babe Ruth record. However, it obviously didn't work out that way, and Maris became part of baseball history.
Isn't it appropriate and improbable that one of the best hitters of all time would end his career with a home run?
Ted Williams is obviously most well known for hitting .400, but he definitely had some power. However, the reason that I am saying that this was improbable was because it was on the last at-bat of his career.
You can't plan that stuff.
In the bottom of the ninth against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, Bill Mazeroski slugged a home run off of Ralph Terry to bring the championship to Pittsburgh. This is definitely one of the most improbable home runs of all time given that Mazeroski was especially known for his glove rather than his bat. This list would not be complete without this video.
In 1988, Kirk Gibson was not even supposed to be able to play in Game 1 for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, he crushed the ball out of the park and proceeded to run very slowly or perhaps painfully around the bases. He was the ultimate underdog story. He overcame adversity to become a legend.
I know that this video has a lot of commentary around it, but when you watch the whole thing, you will hear arguably the most famous words ever uttered by any announcer.
"The Giants win the pennant!"
Although Bobby Thomson was not much of a power hitter, he sure came up big for that one moment that made history.
Barry Bonds is the only man who was ever able to hit at least 71 home runs in a season. Even though his legacy has been tarnished for some, the point remains that this must be one of the most memorable home runs of all time. Records aren't broken every day.
George Brett hit what he thought was a game-winning home run against the New York Yankees. Little did he know, he apparently had pine tar too far up his bat.
His reaction is legendary, so even though this wasn't necessarily a home run at the time, I believe it deserves mention on this list as the most memorable home run that was called back, appealed and finally allowed.
With my previous disclosure already in place, this home run from Matt Stairs is memorable for a few reasons. First of all, it came off of Jonathan Broxton, who was having a very good season. Also, this home run helped the Philadelphia Phillies move closer to their first World Series victory since 1980.
Scott Brosius dug the New York Yankees out of a 2-0 deficit in Game 5 of the 2001 World Series. Of course, as we all know, the New York Yankees were denied in their bid for their fourth straight World Series title.
At this moment, though, the New York Yankees seemed to be in control and Brosius definitely helped with that.
David Freese had already tied this contest earlier by hitting a triple. However, in the bottom of the 11th inning, Freese hit a walk-off home run to not only win the game, but he also made it possible for the St. Louis Cardinals to finish off the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series.
On May 22, 1963, Mickey Mantle hit a home run that apparently flew 565 feet. Although some people apparently doubt the legitimacy of this claim, the point remains that he has been placed into baseball history.
Mantle was a special player, and I personally hope that ball really did fly 565 feet. That is pretty amazing. Sorry that I couldn't find a video of that home run online.
Playing in his 2,131st consecutive game must not have been enough for Cal Ripken Jr. He was a classy player who was highly celebrated throughout baseball. This home run definitely did not have the significance that some of these other home runs had in terms of wins or losses, but it was a fitting moment for a legendary player.
Josh Gibson is probably the best player who never played an inning in Major League Baseball. I guess that he would technically be ineligible for this list. However, I wanted to include him because had he played 30 years later, this home run would have happened in a Major League Baseball ballpark.
Again, like Mantle, it is hard to tell if he really did hit the ball that far in Yankee Stadium, but his power is legendary.
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