“Mr. November” and the 10 Greatest Walk-Offs in World Series History
The walk-off home run is the most exciting way to end a game in baseball, and the World Series has had its fair share of these memorable endings.
A walk-off in the World Series means that you will forever be remembered for that moment and it can really boost the legacy of a great player if you can add it to your resume.
In this article, we will go through 10 of what I believe are the best walk-offs in World Series history.
Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees (1964, Game 3
In what was a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the ninth inning, Mickey Mantle stepped to the plate. Prior to doing so, he told Elston Howard, a catcher who was on deck, that he might as well go back to the clubhouse because he was about to end it himself.
That's exactly what he did, as the first pitch of the at-bat was hammered into the right-field seats. The Yankees wouldn't win the series though, as the Cardinals would pull it out in Game 7.
9. Derek Jeter, New York Yankees (2001, Game 4)
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Of all the things that Derek Jeter has accomplished, this has to be right up there with the very best. The Yankees had been down 3-1 in the ninth inning, but a Tino Martinez home run tied it up and sent the game into extra innings.
With two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Derek Jeter stepped in the box and smashed a 3-2 pitch the other way and it crossed the fence.
Jeter and the Yankees would eventually fall to the Diamondbacks and their own walk-off in Game 7.
8. Eddie Mathews, Milwaukee Braves (1957, Game 4)
In the crucial Game 4 of the 1957 World Series, Eddie Matthews smashed a home run to right field in the bottom of the 10th inning.
The 7-5 victory over the Yankees would lead to the Braves winning the series in seven games, making this home run that much more important.
7. Alex Gonzalez, Florida Marlins (2003, Game 4)
A 3-3 tie in the bottom of the 12th gave Alex Gonzalez a chance to forever be a part of playoff excellence.
After the Yankees had the bases loaded in the top of the 11th but were unable to score anything, Gonzalez made them pay in a big way. The home run came off of Jered Weaver while Gonzalez had been hitting just .077 for the series.
The win would spark the Marlins to three wins in a row, as they won the series 4-2 and clinched their first World Series title.
6. Dusty Rhodes, New York Giants (1954, Game 1)
Everyone remembers Game 1 of the 1954 World Series because of Willie Mays' unbelievable over-the-shoulder catch earlier in the game, but it was Rhodes' home run in bottom of the 10th that finally won the game.
The Giants would go on to win the series in a sweep over the Cleveland Indians.
5. Carlton Fisk, Boston Red Sox (1975, Game 6)
In one of the most well-known videos in baseball history, Fisk launches a pitch down the left-field line and moves his arms, telling the ball to stay fair.
It did, and the home run forces a Game 7 in a series in which the Red Sox would eventually lose, but the video of Fisk is iconic and one of the greatest moments in baseball history.
4. Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins (1991, Game 6)
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In what may have been the greatest World Series ever between the Atlanta Braves and Minnesota Twins (five of its games being decided by a single run, four games decided in the final at-bat and three games going into extra innings), Puckett's blast is perhaps the series' key moment.
The Braves were up 3-2 in the series, but the homer forces Game 7. The Twins would go on to win the Series in Game 7 and Puckett became a legend in Minnesota.
3. Kirk Gibson, Los Angeles Dodgers (1988, Game 1)
Like Fisk's home run, Gibson's shot on two terrible knees is one of the most iconic and most showed home runs in the league's history.
After two horrendous swings as pinch-hitter, the injured and banged-up slugger connected on a pitch with a smooth swing and belted it into right field.
Gibson's gimpy run around the bases is one of the most amazing moments in baseball, and the Dodgers would win the World Series in five games.
2. Joe Carter, Toronto Blue Jays (1993, Game 6)
Joe Carter's home run to left field to win the World Series for the Blue Jays showed one of the finest moments of pure joy that I've ever seen.
Carter can be seen just sprinting around the bases while also throwing in more than a few jumps. It was only the second time that someone had walked-off to win the World Series and that alone makes it incredibly special.
1. Bill Mazeroski, Pittsburgh Pirates (1960, Game 7)
Could it have been anything else?
Bottom of the ninth, Game 7, you launch a home run. It is the quintessential dream of any young boy who has ever picked up a bat.
Against the Yankees, Mazeroski got to live it.
Mazeroski was a second baseman and wasn't known for his power, but the home run he hit down the left-field line was the first walk-off homer that ended the World Series.
Mazeroski will always be remembered for this swing, and I would like to think that he is just fine with that.