Walk-off home run

In baseball, a walk-off home run is a home run that ends the game. It must be a home run that gives the home team the lead in the bottom of the final inning of the game — either the ninth inning, or any extra inning, or any other regularly scheduled final inning. It is called a "walk-off" home run because the teams walk off the field immediately afterward. Sportscasters also use the term "walk-off hit" if a hit drives in the winning run to end the game. The terms walk-off hit by pitch, "walk-off walk" (a base on balls with the bases loaded), and walk-off balk have been also applied, and the latter has been dubbed a "balk-off." However, these types of walk-off plays are seen by some as cheapening the concept. Although the concept of a walk-off home run is as old as baseball, the term itself has come into wide use only since the 1990s.

History and usage of the term

The first known usage of the word in print appeared in the "San Francisco Chronicle" on April 21, by|1988, Section D, Page 1. Chronicle writer Lowell Cohn wrote an article headlined "What the Eck?" about Oakland reliever Dennis Eckersley's unusual way of speaking: "For a translation, I go in search of Eckersley. I also want to know why he calls short home runs 'street pieces,' and home runs that come in the last at-bat of a game 'walkoff pieces'. . . ." Although the term originally was coined with a negative connotation, in reference to the pitcher (who must "walk off" the field with his head hung in shame), it has come to acquire a more celebratory connotation, for the batter who "walks off" with pride with the adulation of the home crowd). The term attained widespread use in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

As of 2006, 23 occasions in major league history, all during the regular season, a player has hit a walk-off grand slam for a 1-run victory; 14 of those occasions came with two outs. Some baseball observers call this an "ultimate grand slam". [ [http://www.wcnet.org/~dlfleitz/gs.htm Walk-Off Grand Slams ] ] [ [http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/05/17/ultimate_grand_slams/ CNNSI.com - Baseball - Ultimate Grand Slams - Saturday May 18, 2002 02:35 AM ] ] [http://www.baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=46190 This website] lists all "ultimate grand slams", including which occurred with two outs. Note that Chris Hoiles' grand slam occurred with the cliché situation: two outs, full count, bottom of the ninth inning, and down by three runs.

Japan

In Japan, a walk-off home run is known as a " home run". [ [http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:UOTzyh3VIEsJ:newyork.yankees.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/nyy/news/nyy_gameday_recap.jsp%3Fymd%3D20030717%26content_id%3D431557%26vkey%3Drecap%26fext%3D.jsp%26c_id%3Dnya+Sayonara+Home+Run&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4 403 Forbidden ] ]

Crossing home plate

A technicality of the walk-off home run is that the game is not officially over until the winning run crosses home plate (in the case of a solo walk-off home run, the batter must round all the bases). This fact almost caused a serious problem in the 1976 ALCS. Mark Littell of the Kansas City Royals served up a home run ball to Chris Chambliss of the New York Yankees, who hit the home run that won the pennant. When jubilant Yankee fans ran onto the field at Yankee Stadium (the Yankees had not won the pennant in 12 years), preventing Chambliss from rounding the bases, Chambliss had to negotiate a sea of fans in order to place his foot in the area of home plate. Announcer Bill White, on WMCA radio in New York, yelled into the microphone, in a voice of disbelief, "...and the game...I THINK...is over!"

Another example is Robin Ventura's "Grand Slam Single" in the 1999 National League Championship Series. In the bottom of the 15th inning, the New York Mets tied the score against the Atlanta Braves at 3-3. Ventura came to bat with the bases loaded, and hit a walk-off grand slam to deep right. Roger Cedeño scored from third and John Olerud appeared to score from second, but Todd Pratt, on first base when Ventura hit the home run, went to second, then turned around and hugged Ventura, as the rest of the team piled onto the field. The official ruling was that because Ventura never advanced past first base, it was not a home run but a single, and thus only Cedeño's run counted, making the official final score 4-3.

Postseason and All-Star Game

World Series

In the charts below, home runs that ended a postseason series are denoted by the player's name in bold. Home runs in which the winning team was trailing at the time are denoted by the final score in bold.

Follow the linked year on the far left for detailed information on that series.

Regular season (selected examples)

Other leagues

Notes

External links

* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/S3J3 Baseball-Reference.com Play Index] - walk-off home runs which ended a postseason series


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Home run — In baseball, a home run (abbreviated HR) is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle all the bases, ending at home plate and scoring runs for himself and each runner who was already on base, with no errors by… …   Wikipedia

  • walk-off — 1. adjective That drives in a run that ends a game. Scott Podsednik hit the twelfth walk off home run in World Series history on October 23rd, 2005. 2. noun a) A prisoner who escapes custody without violence by taking advantage of the opportunity …   Wiktionary

  • walk off with — Synonyms and related words: abstract, and, annex, appropriate, bag, boost, borrow, breeze, carry by storm, cop, crib, defraud, embezzle, extort, filch, hook, lift, make off with, nip, palm, pilfer, pinch, poach, purloin, romp home, run away with …   Moby Thesaurus

  • List of home run calls in baseball — 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… …   Wikipedia

  • run — ► VERB (running; past ran; past part. run) 1) move at a speed faster than a walk, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time. 2) move about in a hurried and hectic way. 3) pass or cause to pass: Helen ran her fingers through her …   English terms dictionary

  • walk — [wôk] vi. [ME walken < OE wealcan, to roll, journey, akin to Ger walken, Frank * walken, to full (cloth), stamp < IE * wolg < base * wel , to turn, roll > L volvere, to roll, Gr eilyein, to roll up, wrap] 1. to go along or move about… …   English World dictionary

  • run — run1 W1S1 [rʌn] v past tense ran [ræn] past participle run present participle running ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(move quickly using your legs)¦ 2¦(race)¦ 3¦(organize/be in charge of )¦ 4¦(do something/go somewhere quickly)¦ 5¦(buses/trains etc)¦ …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • walk — walk1 W1S1 [wo:k US wo:k] v 1.) [I and T] to move forward by putting one foot in front of the other ▪ How did you get here? We walked. ▪ Doctors said he d never walk again. walk into/down/up etc ▪ Carrie walked into the room and sat down in her… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • run */*/*/ — I UK [rʌn] / US verb Word forms run : present tense I/you/we/they run he/she/it runs present participle running past tense ran UK [ræn] / US past participle run 1) [intransitive] to move quickly to a place using your legs and feet You ll have to… …   English dictionary

  • Off the Ground (song) — Off the Ground Photo taken 1977. Single by Paul McCartney from the album Off the Ground …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.