MLB 2011 Season in Review: Travis Hafner's Walk-off Grand Slam to Stun Blue Jays
Travis Hafner’s walk-off grand slam against the Toronto Blue Jays truly epitomized the 2011 Cleveland Indians. On July 7, 2011, the Tribe was riding a hot hand consisting of come-from-behind victories, excellent pitching and solid offensive production.
Like Hafner’s memorable blast, it was all too good to be true.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the Indians trailed the lowly Blue Jays 4-0. Following an RBI single by Asdrubal Cabrera, the bases were loaded and the stage was set for a miraculous end to an otherwise dreary evening in Cleveland, Ohio.
The fans had, for the most part, already cleared out of Progressive Field after eight innings of uninspired baseball by the Cuyahoga warriors.
My friends were among those departed.
Sitting in my bedroom while deployed overseas, I relished I was able to watch the game at all and didn’t abandon hope.
Next up for the Tribe, now trailing 4-1 was designated hitter Travis “Pronk” Hafner. Hafner took no time, driving the first pitch deep into the right field seats.
The blast was coined “Pronkslam” by a Tribe fan and lives on as the most memorable moment of 2011.
Cleveland Indians’ broadcaster Tom Hamilton’s call of the play will go down as one of the all-time best calls in the game.
Hamilton’s reaction sparked a flurry following the game. Fans took to Twitter and many other social media outlets, describing it as “chilling” and as Hamilton’s “best ever.”
I saw it and listened to it live, then watched the clip 20 more times the next day.
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