The home run is considered by many baseball fans to be one of the most dramatic plays in the sport. The typical home run's trajectory carries it in the air for a few seconds, and there is often some question as to whether or not the batted ball will clear the outfield fence - by far the most common method for hitting a home run. Additionally, professional baseball possesses a long tradition of being broadcast on the radio, exclusively before and concurrently after the advent of television, leading to baseball announcers' use of colorful language and baseball statistics to keep the listeners informed and verbally "paint the picture" of what is happening in the game. The combination of these two aspects has led to a tradition of signature home run calls for radio and television.
Home run calls go back to the introduction of baseball broadcasting. Different announcers would establish unique ways to describe home runs in order to develop their individual style on the air, and would often incorporate familiar aspects of the players or the ballpark. This practice was adopted by advertisers during baseball broadcasts, who would often pay the team to instruct their announcer to incorporate the advertiser's product into the home run call, such as Mel Allen's call of "That's a Ballantine blast!", an advertisement for Ballantine beer. This practice was largely discontinued in the late 1950s, though teams and sponsors still occasionally attach promotions to the home run; for example, promising free tickets to a fan if a home run is hit during the inning.
In modern Major League Baseball broadcasting, most calls are still specific to the broadcaster, and many are humorous or idiosyncratic. Some are appropriate to the ballpark in which the home run is hit. And finally, there are a few specific home runs in baseball history which merit a list of their own. These categories are each treated separately below.
Note that names of specific batters, fielders, pitchers, and other details such as the location of the batted ball, are filled in as needed and are not a constant part of the call.
Uncredited broadcaster heard in the movie The Natural: "Goodbye, Mr. Spalding!"
Baltimore, Maryland: Baltimore's Oriole Park at Camden Yards has inspired the expression "go yard" to describe hitting a home run there. "Melvin Mora went yard in the second inning off Martinez..." However, this expression is no longer unique to Camden Yards; it has become a generic term for hitting a home run.
Boston, Massachusetts: Boston's Fenway Park features a high wall in left field that is commonly referred to as the "Green Monster". A home run hit into the seats at the top of the wall is called a "Monster Shot". Don Orsillo once called "Is it a monster shot? Yes it is!". "It's out onto Lansdowne Street" has been used to describe a ball clearing the wall and landing onto Lansdowne Street which runs next to Fenway Park.
Chicago, Illinois: Waveland Avenue runs behind the left and left-center field fences at Wrigley Field, and well-hit home runs frequently end up falling onto the street, resulting in a call of "It's out on Waveland!" Chicago Cubs catcher Barry Foote once hit a home run which broke a window on the other side of Waveland from the stadium. Dave Kingman and Sammy Sosa did likewise. Glenallen Hill put one on a rooftop. Homers over the right field bleachers land "Out on Sheffield". The apartment windows across Sheffield are mostly safe, though, as it would take a much longer hit to reach them. A really long drive to left-center might go "Up Kenmore Avenue", a street which T's into Waveland. Kingman once hit the third porch roof down that street.
Home runs at U.S. Cellular Field seldom if ever leave the confines. Sometimes a long one by a Sox slugger lands in the concourse behind the bleachers, and "You can put it the board... yes!". The old Comiskey Park saw many a home run ball land "On the Roof!" There used to be signs marking the locations of rooftop shots, but when Bill Veeck re-acquired the Sox in the 1970s, he had the signs removed, as most of them name visiting team players.
Cleveland, Ohio: Home runs clearing the left-field wall (referred to as the "Mini-Monster" because of its height) usually land on the "Home Run Porch", a standing-room only area located near the left-field entrance. When a ball flies over or bounces through the entrance fence at the back of the Porch, it enters a plaza between Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena. The plaza has been known as "Albert's Alley" (when Albert Belle was a member of the Cleveland Indians) and "Alomar Alley" (when Sandy Alomar, Jr. and Roberto Alomar both played for the team). A famous home run hit by Mark McGwire on April 30, 1997 was hit "off the Budweiser sign," part of the stadium's freestanding scoreboard.
Los Angeles, California: Bob Prince invented "Let's play some screen-o," referring to the left field screen which cordoned off a portion of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while the Dodgers played there.
New York, New York: Yankee Stadium features an area, Monument Park, with plaques and monuments of former Yankee players beyond the left-center field fence (originally an area that was in play). Players hitting home runs towards Monument Park have been said to "go for the monuments". Yankee Stadium also features seats in straightaway center field that are painted black and not used during baseball games because they would interfere with a batter's sight lines. A home run to the deepest part of center field, a rare event (such as Reggie Jackson's third homer in the finale of the 1977 World Series), is "into the black," for the black-painted seats that form the batter's background.
San Francisco, California: AT&T Park in San Francisco is located adjacent to McCovey Cove, a small inlet named after Willie McCovey. Home runs that land in McCovey Cove are usually called with a reference to water, such as "He got a splash hit!" TV coverage usually zooms in on kayakers scrambling for the balls, especially if hit by Barry Bonds. AT&T Park also features a counter that tallies the total number of splash hits.
|Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World"|
|Date||October 3, 1951|
|Game||Brooklyn Dodgers at New York Giants, 1951 National League Playoff Game|
|Opposing pitcher||Ralph Branca|
|Russ Hodges: "Bobby Thomson... up there swingin'... He's had 2 out of 3, a single and a double, and Billy Cox is playing him right on the third base line. 1 out, last of the ninth... Branca pitches, Bobby Thomson takes a strike called on the inside corner. Bobby hitting at .292. He's had a single and a double and he drove in the Giants' first run with a long fly to center. Brooklyn leads it 4 to 2. Hartung, down the line at third, not taking any chances... Lockman with not too big of a lead at second, but he'll be runnin' like the wind if Thomson hits one. Branca throws... [barely audible crack of the bat]... There's a long drive... It's gonna be, I believe..... The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the Pennant! The Giants win the pennant! [Wahoo! heard in background]... Bobby Thomson hits into the lower deck, of the left field stands! [WAHOO! heard in background again] The Giants win the pennant, and they're goin' crazy! They're goin' crazy! Heeeey-oh! ... [pause while crowd roars] ... I don't believe it! I don't believe it! I do not believe it! Bobby Thomson... hit a line drive... into the lower deck... of the left field stands... and this blame place is goin' crazy! The Giants! Horace Stoneham has got a winner! The Giants won it, by a score of 5 to 4, and they're pickin' Bobby Thomson up, and carryin' him off the field!"|
Another notable individual home run call was Hodges' jubilant, repetitive, emotional call, which completely dispensed with the broadcast standard that called for a certain amount of detached neutrality, became a catch phrase in American popular culture of the 1950s. The home run call appears on the mostly-musical CD, Baseball's Greatest Hits, Volume I. Ironically, the recording was made off the radio on a primitive home tape recorder, by a Brooklyn Dodgers fan hoping to gloatfully play a Dodgers pennant win back to his Giants fan friends. He could have erased it in disgust, but instead graciously gave it to Hodges as a souvenir.
|Bill Mazeroski's World Series winner|
|Date||October 13, 1960|
|Game||New York Yankees at Pittsburgh Pirates, 1960 World Series, Game 7|
|Opposing pitcher||Ralph Terry|
|Chuck Thompson: "Back to the wall goes Berra... it is... over the fence! Home run! The Pirates win!"|
Mazeroski's was the first walk-off home run to end a deciding game of the World Series. Thompson became so excited about the event that he initially announced the wrong score, 10-0, instead of 10-9.
|Roger Maris sets the single-season home run record|
|Date||October 1, 1961|
|Game||Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees|
|Opposing pitcher||Tracy Stallard|
|Phil Rizzuto: "Here's the windup, a fastball -- hit deep to right, this could be it! Way back there! Holy Cow, he did it! Sixty-one for Maris! Look at 'em fight for that ball out there!"|
|Hank Aaron sets the career home run record|
|Date||April 8, 1974|
|Game||Los Angeles Dodgers at Atlanta Braves|
|Opposing pitcher||Al Downing|
|Milo Hamilton, on Atlanta Braves radio: Henry Aaron, in the second inning walked and scored... He's sittin' on 7-14... Here's the pitch by Downing... swinging... there's a drive into left-center field... that ball is gonna beeee... Outta here! It's gone! It's 7-15! There's a new home run champion of all time... and it's Henry Aaron! The fireworks are going... Henry Aaron coming around third... His teammates are at home plate... and listen to this crowd!
Curt Gowdy, on NBC-TV: "The ball's hit deep... deep... it is gone! He did it! He did it! Henry Aaron... is the all-time home run... leader now!"|
This home run became well known for its imagery on television. As Aaron jogged from second base to third base, two college-age white men ran up to him from behind, got handshakes and patted him on the back, and sprinted by to the other side of the field, where they were promptly arrested without further incident.
|Carlton Fisk "waves" home run fair|
|Date||October 21, 1975|
|Game||Cincinnati Reds at Boston Red Sox, 1975 World Series, Game 6|
|Opposing pitcher||Pat Darcy|
|Dick Stockton: "There it goes! It's a long drive...if it stays fair...home run!"|
Along with Aaron's home run, this became one of the first home runs to be known as much for its image on television as its call on the radio. Fisk's 12th-inning blast in this see-saw game (considered in many sports polls to be one of the most exciting baseball games of all time) went directly down the left field line at Fenway Park. Television camera operators missed a cue from the producer, so rather than tracking the flight of the ball, they instead stayed focused for a few extra, critical seconds on Fisk, who was only a few steps from home plate, frantically trying to "wave the ball fair". The power and drama of that image led to more "reaction shots" being incorporated into sports coverage.
|Bucky Dent's famous home run at Fenway|
|Date||October 2, 1978|
|Game||New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 1978, one-game playoff|
|Opposing pitcher||Mike Torrez|
|Bill White: "Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it -- it's a home run! A three-run home run for Bucky Dent and the Yankees now lead by a score of 4-2! Bucky Dent has just hit his fourth home run of the year and look at that Yankees bench out to greet him..."|
In one swing of the bat, Dent went from an obscure shortstop on a talent-laden team, to becoming forever known in Boston as "Bucky Bleeping Dent".
|Steve Garvey's NLCS game-winner|
|Date||October 6, 1984|
|Game||Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres, 1984 National League Championship Series, Game 4|
|Opposing pitcher||Lee Smith|
|Jerry Coleman on San Diego Padres radio: "Pitch on the way to Garvey. Hit high to right field, way back! Going, going, it is...gone! The Padres win it! In a game that absolutely defies description, Steve Garvey, in the 9th inning, hit one over the 370-mark, and the Padres beat the Cubs 7 to 5! Oh, Doctor! You can hang a star on that baby!"||! Home run Garvey, and there will be tomorrow!"|
With the Padres down two games to one, and the score tied at 5 in the bottom of the 9th inning, Steve Garvey hit a 1-0 pitch over the right-center field fence, scoring Tony Gwynn from first to give the Padres a come-from-behind 7 to 5 victory to tie the series at two. The next day, the Padres overcame a 3-0 deficit, scoring six unanswered runs to give San Diego a 6-3 win and the National League Pennant.
|Ozzie Smith's NLCS game-winner|
|Date||October 14, 1985|
|Game||Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals, 1985 National League Championship Series, Game 5|
|Opposing pitcher||Tom Niedenfuer|
|Jack Buck: "Smith corks one into right down the line! It may go...! Go crazy, folks||Go crazy||It's a home run|| And the Cardinals have won the game...by the score of 3 to 2...on a home run by... the Wizard! Go crazy!"|
The light-hitting Smith, who played mainly because of his exceptional skill as a fielder, for which he earned the nickname "The Wizard of Oz", was not expected to hit a home run at any time, much less in the ninth inning of a league championship game. Even more improbably, this was the first homer that the switch-hitting Smith had ever hit left-handed as a major-leaguer. Buck's call reflected the Cardinals' fans delirious disbelief.
A frequently-forgotten fact about Smith's homer was that it did not put the Cardinals in the World Series. The hit gave them a 3-2 lead in the series (1985 was the first year that the League Championship Series were best-of-seven). The Cardinals went on to win Game 6 and the NLCS, thanks to a 3-run home run by Jack Clark off Dodger reliever Tom Niedenfuer (accompanied by another classic Jack Buck call, shouting "Adios, goodbye and maybe that's a winner!" as the ball flew well into the left field pavilion bleachers).
|Kirk Gibson's World Series pinch-hit homer|
|Date||October 15, 1988|
|Game||Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Dodgers, 1988 World Series, Game 1|
|Opposing pitcher||Dennis Eckersley|
|Jack Buck on CBS Radio: "You have a big 3-2 pitch coming here, from Eckersley. Gibson...swings and a fly ball to deep right field! This is gonna be a home run! Unbelievable! A home run for Gibson! And the Dodgers have won the game, 5 to 4! I don't believe what I just saw!|
Another dramatic and famous call by Buck. Gibson was badly injured in the National League Championship Series that year and was not expected to play at all. The drama of the confrontation - a ninth-inning showdown between the injured slugger and the best reliever in the game, capped with Gibson's limp around the basepaths following his right field blast - etched this moment in baseball history. Buck said afterwards, "I've seen a lot of dramatic finishes in a lot of sports, but this one tops almost every other one."
Vin Scully on NBC-TV: "Sax waiting on deck...but the game right now is at the plate. [pauses as Eckersley pitches, continues after Gibson's swing] High fly ball into right field, She iiiis... goooone!"
Scully then gave an equally famous "call" of the scene by falling completely silent after Gibson's home run, and remaining silent until he reached the plate, allowing the sounds and image to carry the impact of the moment. Eventually he continued: "In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!"
Don Drysdale on the Dodgers' radio broadcast: "Gibson a deep sigh...regripping the bat...shoulders just shrugged...now goes to the top of the helmet as he always does...steps in with that left foot... Eckersley working out of a stretch. Here's the 3-2 pitch...and a drive hit to right field! Way back! This ball...is gone!
|Kirby Puckett's extra-inning walkoff homer|
|Date||October 26, 1991|
|Game||Atlanta Braves at Minnesota Twins, 1991 World Series, Game 6|
|Opposing pitcher||Charlie Leibrandt|
|Jack Buck on CBS-TV: "Into deep left-center, for Mitchell...and we'll see you tomorrow night!"|
John Gordon on Minnesota Twins radio: "The one-oh delivery to Puckett, right down the middle... Deep to left center! Way back, way back, it's gone! Touch 'em all, Kirby Puckett! Touch 'em all!"
Yet another dramatic call by Buck. After the Twins won the first two games of the Series at home, the Braves put the Twins on the brink of elimination by sweeping the three games held in Atlanta. The series now returned to the deafening cauldron of the Metrodome.
Puckett turned the game into his personal showcase. In the third inning, he climbed the Plexiglas panel in left-center to rob the Braves' Ron Gant of a sure extra-base hit. Offensively, he sparked the Twins with a single, triple, sacrifice fly, stolen base, two total RBI, and one run scored. Despite his heroics, the game went into extra innings.
His performance during regulation was only a prelude to what would happen in extra innings. As the game entered the bottom of the 11th tied 3-3, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox sent Game 1 starter Charlie Leibrandt to face the heart of the Twins order. Leibrandt would not make it past Puckett, who led off that inning. On his fourth pitch, Leibrandt served up a weak fastball right down the middle of the plate, which Puckett parked just over the left-field wall to force Game 7, prompting Buck's now-famous call. Puckett did not watch the flight of the ball and didn't realize it was a home run until he had already rounded first. The Twins went on to win an equally epic Game 7 behind Jack Morris' 10 shutout innings. After Puckett's disease-forced retirement in 1996, the seat where his shot landed was replaced with a golden-colored plastic seat numbered 34, Puckett's number during all 12 of his years with the Twins.
|Joe Carter ends the World Series with a walk-off homer|
|Date||October 23, 1993|
|Game||Philadelphia Phillies at Toronto Blue Jays, 1993 World Series, Game 6|
|Opposing pitcher||Mitch Williams|
|Tom Cheek on Toronto Blue Jays radio: "Here's the pitch on the way...a swing and a belt! Left field...way back...Blue Jays win it! The Blue Jays are World Series champions as Joe Carter hits a 3-run home run in the 9th inning and the Blue Jays have repeated as World Series champions! Touch 'em all, Joe! You will never hit a bigger home run in your life!"||! Joe Carter, with a three-run homer, the winners, and still world champions, the Toronto Blue Jays!"|
After witnessing the ball go over the left field fence at SkyDome, Carter leapt in the air in celebration, and continued to leap for joy as he rounded the bases. After being mobbed by the team at home plate, Carter was carried in glory by his teammates.
Carter's walk-off is the only home run to have ended a World Series with the champions trailing in the deciding game at the time of the decisive homer. However, although Carter delivered the winning shot, it was Paul Molitor who received World Series Most Valuable Player honors, as Molitor hit an even .500 (12-24) and with two home runs and six runs batted in.
|Mark McGwire breaks the single-season home run record|
|Date||September 8, 1998|
|Game||Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals|
|Opposing pitcher||Steve Trachsel|
|Joe Buck on FOX-TV: "Down the left field line - is it enough? GONE||! There it is, sixty-two! Touch first, Mark! You are the new single-season home run king!"|
Mike Shannon on St. Louis Cardinals radio: "Swing and a shot in the corner! It might make it...there it is! 62, folks!"
Oddly, McGwire, who was known for hitting extremely long, high blasts, hit a low line-drive that barely cleared the fence in the left field corner of Busch Memorial Stadium. His 62nd home run of the year, the one that broke Roger Maris's single-season record, was his shortest of the year. It barely cleared the wall in the left field corner, only a yard from the foul pole, and was eventually snagged by a Cardinals groundskeeper.
In running the bases, McGwire stutter-stepped past first base and was directed back by the first base coach, to be sure he touched it, accounting for Buck's call.
|Wade Boggs hits a home run for hit #3,000|
|Date||August 7, 1999|
|Game||Cleveland Indians at Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Opposing pitcher||Chris Haney|
|Paul Olden on SportsChannel Florida: "And there's a drive... deep right field... It is GONE||! The hit that makes history is a two-run home run! Three thousand base hits for Wade Boggs, and he hits a home run to do it!"|
Wade Boggs entered the game at Tropicana Field with 2,997 career hits. In his first at-bat, in the first inning, he grounded out to second base. In the third inning, he hit a bases-loaded ground ball single through the right side with nobody out to put the Devil Rays on the board, beginning a four-run rally that inning. Then, in the fourth inning, he hit an RBI single, also a grounder on the right side, to leave him one hit short of 3,000.
He went to the plate in the sixth inning with one out and Terrell Lowery on first base after a single. On the 2-2 pitch, Boggs connected for a line drive to right-center field, putting it just over the wall to become the first member of the 3000 hit club to get a home run as their 3,000th hit.
Between first and second, he pointed to the sky, a salute to his mother. A fan was intercepted by security on the field right before Boggs reached home place. When he got there, Boggs got on his hands and knees and kissed the plate, then was greeted by his Rays teammates.
Boggs originally thought he'd never see the ball again. But it was caught in the stands by Mike Hogan, the new sports information director at the University of South Florida, who returned the ball to Boggs after the game.
The call was made by Paul Olden, the backup play-by-play announcer for Dewayne Staats, who called the first four innings of the game and returned for the seventh inning.
|Mike Piazza "The Healing Power of a swing"|
|Date||September 21, 2001|
|Game||Atlanta Braves at New York Mets|
|Opposing pitcher||Steve Karsay|
|Howie Rose on the FSN New York: "Lopez wants it away...and its hit deep to left center..Andruw Jones on the run ...this one has a chance! Home run!..Mike Piazza, and the Mets 3 to 2!"|
The very first professional sporting event held in New York City following the attacks of 9/11 could not have been more dramatic and special. The Mets hosted the hated rival Atlanta Braves at Shea Stadium with both teams in the playoff hunt. The Braves held a 4.5 game lead on the 3rd Place Mets who were the defending NL Champions. The dramatic events began before a pitch was thrown. Special Ceremonies took place before the game honoring those who lost their lives on 9/11. It was a very emotional and moving scene. The Mets were trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th inning when Mike Piazza came to the plate with 1 man on and 1 out. The Fans at Shea Stadium had been fairly quiet up until this moment. Karsay was ahead on Piazza 0-1 when the Mets slugger drilled the pitch high and so deep, the ball hit the camera well in deep left center (closer to Center). Shea Stadium erupted in cheers. In an article the next day, a writer for one of the NY papers wrote, "There's no telling how far Piazza'a home run went, for how can one measure the healing power of a swing."
|Derek Jeter becomes "Mr. November"|
|Date||October 31/November 1, 2001|
|Game||Arizona Diamondbacks at New York Yankees, 2001 World Series, Game 4|
|Opposing pitcher||Byung-Hyun Kim|
|Joe Buck on the MLB on FOX: "Jeter hits it into right, back, at the wall... Game Over! Yankees win, and the series is tied!"|
Michael Kay on the Yankees Radio Network: "And the 3-2 pitch, Swung on and drilled to right field, going back Sanders, on the track, at the wall...See ya! See ya! See ya! A home run for Derek Jeter! He is Mr. November
|" Since the 9/11 attacks pushed the World Series back a week, it would carry into November if it went past Game 4. Sure enough, the extra-innings Game 4 would push the World Series into November for the first time, and Derek Jeter provided the dramatics with an extra-inning walk-off home run to even the series at 2 games a piece and earn the moniker "Mr. November", coming from a hastily-written banner held up by a fan and shown on TV both before and after the home run. He was 1-for-15 for the series before that at-bat, but battled out of an 0-2 hole with four fouls and three balls before launching the game-winner over the right field wall at 12:03am EST. The Diamondbacks would eventually win the Series in seven games.|
|Scott Hatteberg hits a walk-off to give the Oakland Athletics their 20th straight win|
|Date||September 4, 2002|
|Game||Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics|
|Opposing pitcher||Jason Grimsley|
|Bill King on Oakland Athletics radio: "Now the pitch. Swung on, there's a high drive, hit way back, right-center field. That one is gone! And it's 20 consecutive victories for the Oakland Athletics on an unbelievable night when they lost an 11-0 lead and now they win it!"|
From mid-August to early September 2002, the low-budget, high-energy Oakland A's were the darlings of the national sports media as they rattled off a historic 20-game winning streak. The final three games (against the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals) ended in dramatic walk-off fashion: a three-run homer by Miguel Tejada to take Game 18 from the Twins 7-5, a bases-loaded single by Tejada (through a drawn-in infield) to win Game 19 by a 7-6 score, and Scott Hatteberg's pinch-hit blast to end Game 20, a 12-11 slugfest.
|Boone Sends Yankees to the World Series|
|Date||October 16, 2003|
|Game||Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees, 2003 ALCS, Game 7|
|Opposing pitcher||Tim Wakefield|
|Joe Buck on FOX-TV: "As Boone hits it to deep left, that might send the Yankees to the World Series. Boone the hero of Game 7!"|
Gary Thorne on MLB International: "He hits the ball! Way back, left field! Aaron Boone, a walk-off home run! And the Yankees are the American League champions!"
Charley Steiner on the Yankees Radio Network: "His first at bat of the game, and there's a fly ball deep to left! It's on its way! There it goes! And the Yankees are going to the World Series! Aaron Boone has hit a home run and the Yankees win the American League Pennant for the 39th time in their remarkable history!"
Aaron Boone's home run in the bottom of the 11th clinched the ALCS for the Yankees. After the call, there was silence, except for crowd noise while watching the Yankees celebrate on the field. Aaron Boone's brother Brett was working on the game for FOX. He was shown in the FOX booth after the home run. Other moments in this broadcast was Mariano Rivera crying on the pitchers mound, and Don Zimmer crying in the dugout, a fitting conclusion to Yankee fans, and heartbreak to Red Sox fans at the end of this American League Championship Series.
|Adam Dunn's colossal shot into Kentucky|
|Date||August 10, 2004|
|Game||Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds, 2004 National League|
|Opposing pitcher||José Lima|
|Marty Brennaman on Cincinnati broadcast: ''"Dunn to center field...and forget it! That's gonna be long gone, done and gone...that's long time out of here! Adam Dunn put the hammer on one from Lima, over the batter's eye, out of the ballpark! |
With the Reds down 4 to 1 in the bottom of the 4th, Adam Dunn whalloped a 3-2 pitch to dead center field that kept carrying, completely clearing the fence, grass berm, the entire batter's eye building, and the entire park. The ball reportedly hit the Ohio River on a hop, landing on some driftwood. The river is considered Kentucky territory, technically meaning that Dunn hit the ball into another state. The hit was estimated at in distance, registered as one of the longest in decades. Given the new addition of a deck in center field, and the rumors that Adam Dunn will be traded, this could be the first and last hit to ever claim such a feat.
|Ortiz keeps the Red Sox alive|
|Date||October 17, 2004|
|Game||New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, 2004 ALCS, Game 4|
|Opposing pitcher||Paul Quantrill|
|Joe Buck on FOX-TV: "Ortiz into deep right field, back is Sheffield, we'll see you later tonight!"|
David Ortiz's home run in the bottom of the 12th kept the Red Sox from being swept, and kept the Sox alive to win the American League Championship and eventually the World Series. Joe Buck says "We'll see you later tonight", a play on his father's famous call of Kirby Puckett's 1991 homer, since the game lasted over 4 hours and went well after midnight. Joe Buck often ends his post-season game broadcasts with "We'll see you tomorrow night!" or a variation thereof, in honor of his father.
|Chris Burke ends an 18 inning thriller|
|Date||October 9, 2005|
|Game||Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros, 2005 NLDS, Game 4|
|Opposing pitcher||Joey Devine|
|Dave O'Brien on ESPN-TV: "Swing and a drive to left field... way back... this one is gone!... The Astros win it... It's Chris Burke with a late inning walk off home run to give Roger Clemens the win and send the Astros to their second straight NLCS in 18 innings.. Houston pulls it out to go back to the League Championship for the second straight year!"|
Milo Hamilton on Houston Astros radio: "Burke is the batter and Ensberg is on deck... and the pitch, swinging... lining it to left... it's...gone! It's gone, It's gone, Chris Burke. Holy Toledo, what a way to finish... Chris Burke just punched to ticket to St. Louis!"
Not just did Chris Burke's home run win the longest playoff game ever, it also sent the Astros to the NLCS for the second straight year. The game was 18 innings and took 5 hours, 50 minutes to play, beating the Yankees-Red Sox record set in the 2004 ALCS by 1 minute. Burke became the 5th player to end a postseason series on a home run.
|Barry Bonds passes Babe Ruth for second all time in home runs|
|Date||May 28, 2006|
|Game||Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants|
|Opposing pitcher||Byung-Hyun Kim|
|Duane Kuiper on FSN Bay Area: "The numbers Bonds has against Kim, "oh" for nine, five walks, one strikeout and the cove is waiting... the pitch, Bonds hits one HIGH, hits it deep to center...outta here, 715...the wait is over and they are on their feet here at AT&T Park... Bonds passes Babe Ruth, he is second on the all time home run list!"|
During Bonds' 715 home run call on KNBR Radio, Dave Flemming's mic was cut off in the middle of the call, so there is no radio call for the historic home run. Flemming later said it was no one's fault. Just an equipment malfunction -- and incredibly bad timing. "The odds of that happening at that moment are infinitesimal," he said. Flemming calls the third, fourth, and seventh innings on Giants broadcasts while Jon Miller the lead voice calls the other innings on radio.
|Magglio Ordóñez send the Detroit Tigers to the World Series|
|Date||October 14, 2006|
|Game||Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers, 2006 ALCS, Game 4|
|Opposing pitcher||Huston Street|
|Dan Dickerson on the 1270 XYT Detroit Tigers Radio Network: "Monroe edges off of second...the 1-0. (crack of the bat) Swing and a fly ball... left field...it's deep...it's way back. The Tigers are going to the World Series. 3-run walkoff home run. Oh man, Ordonez around third. He's into a mob scene at ho-home. The Tigers have beaten the A's 6-3 .. completing a 4-game sweep! In one the greatest turnarounds in baseball history, the Tigers three years after losing 119 games, are going to the World Series!"|
The Tigers were down in the game 3–0 before Ordoñez's first home run of the game in the sixth inning (a line drive right down the left field line) tied the score at 3. A's manager Ken Macha brought on his closer, Huston Street, in the seventh inning to seal the win. After allowing two singles to eventual ALCS MVP Plácido Polanco and Craig Monroe with two outs, Ordoñez became the 6th player to end a postseason series on a home run.
|Barry Bonds takes the career home run lead|
|Date||August 7, 2007|
|Game||Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants|
|Opposing pitcher||Mike Bacsik|
|Duane Kuiper on FSN Bay Area: "Three balls and two strikes, the over shift is on, and Bacsik deals. And (Crack of the bat) Bonds hits one hard..hits it deep...it is...outta here! 756. Bonds stands alone. He is on top of the all-time home run list. What a special moment for Barry Bonds, and what a special moment for these fans here in San Francisco. There it is!"|
Dave O'Brien on ESPN2: "Bacsik's 3-2 again. (Crack of the bat) There's a swing and a high fly ball, right-center field! Back it goes, racing back Logan jumping up and that ball is gone! Number 756! Barry Bonds stands alone. And on the night of August 7th, 2007, at San Francisco, California, Barry Lamar Bonds has hit more home runs than any major leaguer in the history of baseball."
Jon Miller on San Francisco Giants Radio: "Bonds one home run away from history (Crack of the bat) and he swings, and there's a long one, deep into right-center field, way back there, it's gone! A home run! Into the center field bleachers, to the left of the marker! An extraordinary shot to the deepest part of the yard! And Barry Bonds, with 756 home runs, he has hit more home runs than anyone who has ever played the game."
The McCovey Cove Armada was denied as Bonds hit home run #756 instead into the bleachers in the deepest reaches of right-center field at AT&T Park. Nationals center fielder Nook Logan jumped on the wall after the ball, similar to Bill Buckner trying to go after Hank Aaron's 715th home run, but it fell several rows into the bleachers. The ball was caught by Matt Murphy of Queens, New York, who was in San Francisco on a layover before flying to Australia and came to the game on a whim.
The game was delayed for 10 minutes for on-field celebrations, including a video message from Hank Aaron congratulating Bonds, and some words of appreciation from Bonds himself toward the fans, the team, and his family. His godfather, Willie Mays, who is fourth on the all-time home run list with 660, was on the field during the celebration.
Bonds returned to the field for the top of the 6th inning, but was substituted before playing during a pitching change, giving him one last standing ovation. He finished the game 3-for-3, just a triple short of hitting for the cycle.