World Series Game 6: David Freese and Biggest Home Runs in Fall Classic History
The World Series has seen a number of big home runs over the years. While there have only been two series-winning walk-off home runs in World Series history, there have been a number of others that have made a big difference.
During Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals were pushed to the edge of elimination not once, but twice. They were one strike from being eliminated on two occasions, and they fought back.
Then they got a massive home run from David Freese in the bottom of the 11th to win the game.
There have been a number of other big leaguers who have defined their career by hitting big home runs in the World Series. The following are the greatest.
7) Kirby Puckett
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The Minnesota Twins were in a hard-fought battle during Game 6 of the 1991 World Series. After nine innings, the game was tied up at three.
The Atlanta Braves had the Twins on the brink of elimination and just needed to find a way to score and then shut out the Twins in the bottom half of the inning.
The 10th inning passed without either team scoring a run, and in the top of the 11th, the Braves went scoreless.
Kirby Puckett was the first batter to step to the plate in the bottom of the 11th. He managed to hit the most memorable home run in Twins history off Charlie Leibrandt and forced a Game 7. That next game was arguably one of the best games in World Series history.
6) Kirk Gibson
When you only get one opportunity, it is very important that you make it count. Kirk Gibson only stepped to the plate once during the 1988 World Series, and he certainly made the most of it.
Gibson came to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth during Game 1 of the '88 World Series. He was facing Dennis Eckersley, who was arguably the best closer in the game at that time.
On top of that, Gibson was nursing injuries to both legs.
He worked the count full and then delivered one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Gibson won Game 1 for the Dodgers and gave them the momentum to win the series.
5) Reggie Jackson
Hitting one home run during the World Series is a big moment.
Driving two balls over the fence in the same game is a major accomplishment as well.
There have only been three players in major league history to hit three home runs in one World Series game.
Reggie Jackson is one of those three players; he shares room in this club with Babe Ruth and Albert Pujols.
The most impressive thing about Jackson's performance is that he hit the first pitch of each at-bat for each of his three home runs.
4) Carlton Fisk
The most memorable moment in Carlton Fisk's career came during the 1975 World Series.
In Game 6, Fisk, who had hit just 71 home runs in his career up to that point, came up to the plate with the Boston Red Sox with their backs against the wall.
The Boston Red Sox had forced the game into extra innings by scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and Fisk came to bat in the bottom of the 12th.
He hit his famous fly ball that was creeping towards the foul pole, waving at the ball and trying to wish it fair. Everything he did worked, and the Red Sox won the game.
Some people will argue that this home run is one of the main reasons why Fisk is in the Hall of Fame.
3) David Freese
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Early in Game 6, David Freese made a major mistake when he dropped a pop-up. He managed to redeem himself in a big way in extra innings.
The St. Louis Cardinals were just one strike away from being eliminated not once, but twice, during Game 6. In both the ninth and the 10th innings, the Cardinals managed to fight back.
Freese, a St. Louis native that went to Lafayette High School in Wildwood, Missouri, managed to make his home state proud. In the bottom of the 11th, Freese drove a walk-off home run to dead center, forcing the pivotal Game 7 versus the Texas Rangers.
2) Joe Carter
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There have been just two walk-off home runs to end the World Series in MLB history. One of those home runs came off the bat of Joe Carter.
In Game 6 of the 1993 World Series, the Toronto Blue Jays were down by one run to the Philadelphia Phillies entering the bottom of the ninth inning. Rickey Henderson walked, and Paul Molitor got on base with a single.
With one out and two on, Carter came to the plate. He drove a 2-2 pitch over the wall to win the game and the World Series for the Blue Jays.
1) Bill Mazeroski
Bill Mazeroski hit just 140 home runs during his MLB career, including the playoffs. However, there is one that stands out head and shoulders above all others.
Pittsburgh scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take a two-run lead, and the Yankees responded by tying up the game in the top half of the ninth.
Mazeroski then came to the plate and hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series for the Pirates.