20 of the Best Clubhouse Stories in Recent Baseball Memory

Mark MillerCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2012

20 of the Best Clubhouse Stories in Recent Baseball Memory

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    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, and no matter how distant of a memory they may become, we replay them in our minds time and time again.

    Moments like these vault our teams to a World Series championship, bring our cities to a level of pride that hasn't been seen in generations or make a hero out of a single man. 

    Other moments in this great game's history have actually had the power to transcend the game itself, and no matter how you look at it, they won't soon be forgotten.

2007 Colorado Rockies

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    It took 163 games 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.

Roy Halladay's Playoff No-Hitter

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    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 1 of the NLDS.

    Halladay responded to the challenge better than anyone could have expected, as he hurled a no-hitter, becoming just the second pitcher in baseball history to do so in the postseason.

Roger Clemens' 300th Win and 4,000 Strikeout

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    The memory may have been tainted a bit given his association with performance-enhancing drugs, but it's not every day a fan gets the opportunity to witness a pitcher record his 300th career win, let alone see two remarkable feats in the same evening.

    That's exactly what Yankee fans were treated to in June of 2003, as Roger Clemens would record win No. 300 and strikeout No. 4,000 during an interleague tilt against the St. Louis Cardinals.

2009 Minnesota Twins

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    Staging a furious September comeback, the Minnesota Twins provided the Metrodome with some farewell fireworks during their last season before moving to Target Field.

    In front of a sold-out crowd, the Twins went back and forth with the Detroit Tigers before finally settling the score in extra innings and earning themselves a postseason appearance with the New York Yankees.

Kirk Gibson's World Series Home Run

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    Hobbling to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning, Kirk Gibson's improbable Game 1 walk-off home run set the tone for the 1988 World Series.

    The home run is widely regarded as one of the best home runs of all time, and though it would turn out to be Gibson's only plate appearance during the entire World Series, he certainly made it count.

1997 Florida Marlins

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    With the Miami Marlins clearly having sights on returning to glory this season, they'll likely look back to 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 extra frames.

Josh Hamilton's Home Run Derby Performance

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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 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.

Mike Piazza's Post-9/11 Home Run

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    With the nation reeling from the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, baseball would ultimately resume, with the New York Yankees and Mets becoming even more of a focal point in the sports world. 

    In the Mets' first game back after the attacks, Mike Piazza delivered the game's signature moment, a long ball into the night sky that electrified the crowd and seemingly unified a nation that was easing back into enjoying the freedoms that make this country great.

Carlton Fisk's 1975 World Series Home Run

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    As if the first nine innings of the Red Sox's tilt against the Cincinnati Reds didn't have enough action, Carlton Fisk's animated gestures as he watched his 12th-inning home run fall just fair down the left-field line gave Red Sox fans one of the more memorable images in their franchise's history.

2001 Arizona Diamondbacks

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    Luis Gonzalez led the charge in the late innings of the 2001 World Series in 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.

David Freese's World Series MVP Performance

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    The St. Louis Cardinals are a storied franchise entrenched in history and no doubt have a number of memorable moments buried in the minds of Cards fans everywhere.

    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.

Jack Buck's Post-9/11 Speech

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    It may not be an in-game moment, but Jack Buck's speech marking the resumption of baseball after the 9/11 attacks struck a chord with anyone who was watching and is certainly one of the most memorable moments of his illustrious career.

Reggie Jackson's Three-HR World Series Performane

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    Stepping up and providing consistent results during a World Series is hard enough for any star in the league, as we've seen a number of the league's best fizzle out when the Fall Classic rolls around.

    That wasn't the case in 1977, as the self-proclaimed "Mr. October" would go deep three times in one game against the Dodgers, giving him five for the series and putting him in the history books.

Rick Monday Saves the Flag

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    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. When asked about the incident, Monday recalled his emotions during the incident, saying, "I was angry when I saw them start to do something to the flag, and I'm glad that I happened to be geographically close enough to do something about it."

1995 Seattle Mariners Win ALDS

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    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.

Bucky Dent's Home Run

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    Having gone deep only 40 times in his first 12 years in the league and manning the ninth spot in the batting order, Bucky Dent played the role of an unlikely hero in the fall of 1978.

    As the New York Yankees fought to get past the Boston Red Sox for postseason contention in a one-game playoff, Dent's memorable long ball propelled them into postseason play.

Kirby Puckett's World Series Walk-Off

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    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.

1990 Cincinnati Reds

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    Heading into the 1990 Fall Classic as heavy favorites, the Bash Brothers, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco, were supposed to lead the Oakland 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 would lead to the Reds sweeping the A's in an improbable World Series finish.

Cal Ripken Jr. Breaks Lou Gehrig's Record

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    A 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, an event that has been voted the most memorable moment in baseball history.

2004 Boston Red Sox

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    The Boston Red Sox's 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 Oct. 27, 2004, to lift their nearly century-long curse and head into the record books.