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Nelson Cruz and 10 Greatest Walk-Off Home Runs in ALCS History

Scott SewellCorrespondent IOctober 11, 2011

Nelson Cruz and 10 Greatest Walk-Off Home Runs in ALCS History

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    Nelson Cruz makes 10.

    There have been nine other walk-off home runs since the ALCS began in 1969.  

    The team that hit the walk-off home run has gone on to win the ALCS all nine times.  In fact, three of the home runs actually finished the series.

    That's sobering news for Detroit fans hoping to turn things around and head to the World Series.

    History is certainly not on their side.

    Ranking these historic home runs is a little like ranking the top 10 hottest cheerleaders in the NFL.  Each one is almost as amazing as the next, so we'll need to nitpick a little to get to the top, but let's take a stroll through the 10 greatest walk-off home runs in ALCS history and see who comes out on top.

10. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Game 1 1999 ALCS

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    Bernie Williams homered off of Rod Beck in the 10th inning of Game 1 of the ALCS to beat the Red Sox 4-3.  

    The Yankees won the series 4-1 and then won the World Series over Atlanta as well.

9. California Angels vs. Baltimore Orioles Game 1 1979 ALCS

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    John Lowenstein hit a three-run home run off of John Montague in the bottom of the 10th to give the Orioles a 6-3 win over the Angels.

    The Orioles would win the ALCS 3-1, but lose to the Pirates in a seven game World Series.

8. Oakland Athletics vs. Baltimore Orioles Game 3 1973 ALCS

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    Bert Campaneris hit a solo home run off of Mike Cuellar to give the Oakland A's the win in the bottom of the 11th inning.

    The A's would go on to win the series 3-2, and then beat the New York Mets in the 1973 World Series. 

7. Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees Game 4 2001 ALCS

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    Alfonso Soriano hit a two-run homer off of Seattle closer Kazuhiro Sasaki in the bottom of the ninth to give the Yankees a dramatic 3-1 win.

    Seattle had taken a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning when Bernie Williams tied the game at 1-1, setting the stage for Soriano's walk-off home run.

    The Yankees would go onto win the series 4-1, and then lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks in a seven game World Series.

6. Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees Game 1 1996 ALCS

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    Bernie Williams hit a solo home run off of Randy Myers in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Yankees the Game 1 win.

    The Orioles led 4-2 in the seventh inning before the Yankees began clawing back.  They scored on in the seventh and another in the eighth before Williams finally won it in extra innings.

    The Yankees would go on to win the series 4-1, and then beat the Braves in the 1996 World Series.

5. Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers Game 2 2011 ALCS

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    Two Words.

    Grand. Slam.

4. Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers Game 4 2006 ALCS

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    The Tigers led the series 3-0 going into their Game 4 ALCS matchup against the Oakland Athletics.

    The score was tied 3-3 when Magglio Ordonez hit a walk-off three-run homer to win the game and the series for the Tigers.

    The Tigers would ultimately lose to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2006 World Series.

3. Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Game 5 1976 ALCS

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    The Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees were tied 6-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth of the deciding Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS.

    Chris Chambliss hit a solo home run off of Mark Littell to give the Yankees the dramatic walk-off series victory. The first walk-off homer to ever win an ALCS.  

    The Yankees would go on to lose to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1976 World Series.

2. New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox Game 4 2004 ALCS

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    Some may argue that this one shouldn't be ranked as high as the walk-offs that won deciding games, but this is probably the biggest home run in Red Sox history so I think it belongs up here.

    We all know the story by now.  Yankees leading the series 3-0, Dave Roberts with the steal, the Red Sox tie it up, and Big Papi ends it in the bottom of the 12th with a walk-off home run.

    The Red Sox would win the next three games, and then beat the St. Louis Cardinals to win the World Series.

1. Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees Game 7 2003 ALCS

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    Game 7. 2003 ALCS.  Red Sox and Yankees.  Heated Rivalry.  Enter Tim Wakefield.

    Enter The Boone Collector.

    Exit the baseball.

    TNT doesn't know that much drama.

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