Whether you’re an avid fan of the game of baseball or are just starting to follow it, you’ve probably noticed a few stories that stand out as some of the greatest moments in baseball history. Among these are Mike Piazza’s walk-off home run, Mark McGwire’s lined bullet, and Cal Ripken’s flip. But there are many more that you should know.
Mike Piazza’s walk-off home run
There are many reasons to consider Mike Piazza’s walk-off game-winning home run one of the best baseball moments of all time. First of all, the game was played a mere 10 days after the September 11 terrorist attacks, which had shattered Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York. The tragedy was not just devastating to the players and fans on that night, but to the city and country as a whole.
Mike Piazza began his career as a Miami-Dade Community College student and was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 62nd round of the 1988 MLB amateur draft. He was one of the last players in his draft class to make the Major Leagues. He converted to catcher in the minors to increase his chances of promotion. He finally made his major league debut in 1992, and quickly became a top hitter. In 1992, he was named National League Rookie of the Year. He was also a ten-time All-Star.
The walk-off home run that Piazza hit in 1998 was one of the greatest moments in baseball. It occurred when the Mets and Braves were tied at two. Mike Piazza hit a two-run home run off of future Hall of Famer John Smoltz. The Mets fought back from two runs down and took the lead shortly afterward, but they would ultimately fall short of the pennant.
Mark McGwire’s lined bullet
One of the great baseball moments of all time is the line drive by Mark McGwire. He had just reached his 50th home run. McGwire, who was in his prime in 1995, was one of the best power hitters of his generation. His ball travelled 341 feet, but only hit the outfield wall.
McGwire broke the record for most home runs in a season when he hit home runs 62 times in a single season. His liner barely cleared the wall of Busch Stadium. He was congratulated by teammates, including his son, Matthew, who was in the stands. He was also embraced by Cubs manager Tony La Russa, who had just returned from attending his mother’s funeral. Sosa joined in to congratulate McGwire, and the three of them shared a long hug.
While McGwire’s career WAR is close to that of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, his career defensive numbers don’t warrant Hall of Fame induction. In addition, McGwire’s base running was also a weakness. In his 1,874 career games, he only managed to steal twelve bases.
The liner off McGwire is arguably one of the best in the history of baseball, but it also stands out for another reason: McGwire’s liner off Dodger pitcher Jay Howell was a historic moment for baseball. McGwire was the eighth player in history to hit a walk-off home run in a World Series game.
Ron Swoboda’s catch on the run
During his career, Swoboda made several great plays, but his catch on the run in Game 4 of the 1969 World Series is considered one of the best in baseball history. It was a critical play that tied the game at 1-1. The game went to extra innings and the Mets won 2-1. The catch had a strong emotional impact. It symbolized the character of Swoboda and the magic of the Mets during that series.
The catch on the run was Swoboda’s most memorable moment, but he also hit a career-high 19 home runs that season. Swoboda was also a top hitter that year, leading the Mets with 19. Swoboda was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and played for the Dodgers.
Swoboda made a stunning backhand catch to score Frank Robinson from first. Swoboda’s catch on the play helped the Mets win the game and the series. Without great fielding and pitching, a good pitcher cannot win a game.
While most fans focus on home runs and big hits in the World Series, the greatest catches are equally important. These catches are the stuff of baseball history.
Dock Ellis’ no-hitter
No one will ever forget the day Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter. It was one of the most incredible moments in baseball history. Dock pitched 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the World Series and only allowed 4 runs on four hits. While he allowed only two walks, he didn’t allow an unearned run.
After the game, Dock Ellis began to appear in films and television. He played a bit part in the 1986 Ron Howard film Gung Ho. He was also the subject of the 1976 book Dock Ellis In The Country of Baseball, which chronicled his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and his colorful life. In 2008, Hallman and Ellis re-released the book, “Dock Ellis: The Man Behind the No-Hitter” to reflect his life and his impact on the game.
The most amazing thing about Dock Ellis’ no-hitter is that he pitched it while on LSD. Ellis himself later revealed that he was “high as a Georgia pine” when he threw the no-hitter. Then, after the game, Ellis continued to celebrate with friends and family. He even told them that he saw Jimi Hendrix in the batter’s box when he pitched his no-hitter!
A documentary about Ellis’ life is called “No No: A Dockumentary” and stars Robin Williams. In addition to a no-hitter, this movie also tackles the topic of performance-enhancing drugs in sports.
Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game
Cal Ripken’s 2,131sth consecutive game is one of the most recognizable moments in baseball. Ripken was playing in his 2,131st consecutive game when he hit a home run in the fourth inning. The moment was so big that Ripken had to emerge from the dugout for multiple curtain calls.
The accomplishment was one of Ripken’s greatest accomplishments as a baseball player. He was 35 when he played his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record. Ripken also insisted that his work ethic was crucial in achieving such a feat. In fact, many people share similar stories, from nurses and doctors to people who have perfect attendance in school.
The ovation came as Ripken’s 2,131st game was officially declared an official game. The fans, opposing players, and umpires all gave him a standing ovation. It was a moment that earned Ripken the nickname Iron Man. The streak lasted for 2632 games before Ripken took a day off on Sept. 20, 1998.
The long streak was not without its share of controversy. In the days before Ripken broke the record, there were few other players who had a streak as long as Cal Ripken’s. As a lifelong resident of Maryland, Ripken’s achievement was as impressive to the Orioles faithful as it was for the rest of baseball. The streak was even plotted on a calendar, which meant that it was easy to celebrate the streak over a period of time.