Shots Heard 'Round the World: MLB's 10 Most Memorable Home Runs
The home run is one of the most exciting plays in sports. Fans and players feel a rush of excitement when a ball goes over the wall.
There are some big flies more exciting than others. Here are the 10 most memorable home runs in Major League Baseball history.
10. Aaron Boone's Game Seven Blast
On Oct. 17, 2003, Aaron Boone thrust himself into Yankee history with one swing.
Game Seven of the American League Championship Series between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox had advanced into extra innings.
With the score tied 5-5 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Boone stepped in for his first at-bat of the game after pinch-running for Ruben Sierra in the 8th inning.
Aaron took the first pitch from Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield down the left field line over the wall for a home run, sending the Bronx Bombers to the World Series.
Although the Yankees would lose in the Series, Boone's home run is one of the great moments in New York history. The fact that it happened against their hated rivals didn't hurt, either.
9. Go Crazy, Folks!
Ozzie Smith's St. Louis Cardinals faced the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1985 National League Championship Series. The two teams split the first four games, sending the series to a fifth game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Wizard stepped up to the plate to face Dodger right-handed closer Tom Niedenfuer.
The switch-hitting Smith hit a home run from the left side of the plate down the right field line to give the Cardinals a dramatic victory.
The left-handed homer was the first of Ozzie's career in 3,009 at-bats from the left side of the dish. It also prompted broadcaster Jack Buck's famous call: "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!"
8. Maris Hits No. 61
For 34 years, Babe Ruth's 60 home runs in a single season remained intact.
In 1961, Roger Maris, another New York Yankee, set out to break the Babe's record.
On Oct. 1, in New York's final game of the regular season, Maris hit his 61st home run of the season. Tracy Stallard of the Boston Red Sox gave up the big fly in the fourth inning.
This blast is near the top of the list of the greatest moments in Yankee Stadium history.
7. Mr. October Strikes Again
In the 1977 World Series, Reggie Jackson further proved why he is Mr. October.
In Game Six against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jackson led off his game by walking in the second inning.
His following three plate appearances were home runs. They all came off of different pitchers and all occurred in the first pitch of the at-bat.
Reggie's first bomb came off of Burt Hooton into the right field seats. The second also cleared the right field wall, this time against Elias Sosa.
Jackson's third homer came against knuckleballer Charlie Hough. It eventually landed 475 feet away from home plate in straightaway center field.
6. Fisk Waves It Fair
One of the most memorable moments at Fenway Park occurred in the 1975 World Series, despite the Cincinnati Reds defeating the Red Sox in the series.
Boston catcher Carlton Fisk stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning in a pivotal Game Six with the score tied, 6-6.
Fisk took the second pitch from Reds hurler Pat Darcy down the left field line at Fenway, headed for the towering Green Monster.
As the Boston catcher headed down the first base line, he waved with his hands for the ball to stay fair. Ultimately, it struck the foul pole, sending the series to a seventh game.
5. The Shot Heard 'Round the World
The 1951 National League Championship Series between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers made Bobby Thomson a celebrity.
In the final game of the series, the Dodgers carried a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. It appeared that they would advance to the World Series.
Thomson came to the plate with the bases loaded to face Brooklyn pitcher Ralph Branca. The pitch from Branca ended over left field wall at the Polo Grounds, giving New York a 5-4 victory.
The moment was forever immortalized with the famous call by Russ Hodges. "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
4. Maz Works His Magic
The 1960 World Series between the New York Yankees and the underdog Pittsburgh Pirates was forced into a seventh game, despite Pittsburgh being outscored, outhit, and outpitched.
The Yankees held a 7-4 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning. Pittsburgh scored five runs, giving them a 9-7 advantage.
After two New York runs in the top of the ninth, Bill Mazeroski stepped to the plate to lead off the Pittsburgh half. He proceeded to take the second pitch from Ralph Terry over the left field wall for a walk-off home run.
The home run gave the Pirates the World Series victory. It was the first walk-off World Series winning homer in MLB history.
3. Gimpy Gibson Goes Yard
Game One of the 1988 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland Athletics was the highlight of Kirk Gibson's career.
Kirk had sustained injuries to both legs in the NLCS that prevented him from playing in the first game of the World Series.
However, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Dodgers down 4-3, Gibson offered to pinch hit.
The Dodger slugger hobbled to the plate, barely able to move. Standing at home plate, he was the winning run. Mike Davis was on first.
After falling behind 0-2 in the count, Gibson worked the count to 3-2. He put on awkward swing on the next pitch.
Somehow, it carried over the right field wall, giving the Dodgers a miraculous 5-4 victory. Gibson's blast is still one of the most inspiring moments in all of sports.
2. A New Home Run King
On April 8, 1974, 53,775 fans attended the Braves/Dogers game at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. That number set the stadium record.
Everyone there was anxious to see Hank Aaron's 715th home run. Just a few days earlier, Aaron tied Babe Ruth's career home run record with his 714th home run.
The fans got what they came to see. In the fourth inning, Hammerin' Hank sent a blast off of Dodgers pitcher Al Downing over the left field wall into the Atlanta bullpen.
The record was officially broken, making Hank Aaron the new home run king.
1. The Babe's Called Shot
One of the most controversial and historic moments in baseball occurred in Game Three of the 1932 World Series between the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs.
Yankees slugger Babe Ruth stepped to the plate to face pitcher Charlie Root of Chicago. The Cubs' bench players taunted Ruth as he stepped in. After taking strike one, Wrigley Field erupted with excitement.
The Sultan of Swat then waved one finger at the Cubs' dugout, appearing to indicate one strike. Ruth then took two straight balls.
The next pitch was called strike two. As the jeers persisted, the Babe held up two fingers toward the dugout.
Then, the Great Bambino did something unprecedented. Eyewitnesses claim that he pointed toward the center field fence. However, some say Ruth was pointing toward the pitcher's mound or toward the Cubs' dugout.
On the next pitch, Ruth blasted a 440-foot home run to straightaway center field, exactly where he pointed. The Babe called his shot. It is quite possibly the most famous moment in baseball history.