Walk Off Baby
Some people say that a triple is the most exciting play in baseball…HA NO! The most exciting play in baseball is the Walk-Off Home Run!
Now before you start to argue me on this point, let me point out some information. When guys hit a triple, do their teammates run out and meet them at 3rd and shower them with Gatorade or water? Do they pound his head until he can only hear ringing in his ears?
The obvious answer to these questions is no! The only play where that happens is when a dude hits a walk off bomb!
Over a month ago, the Texas Rangers finished a sweep of the LA Angels of Anaheim. Each of the 3 games ended with a walk off homerun by the Rangers. In the last game of the series, Adrian Beltre sent a ball out to left in a hurry and all his teammates were waiting for him at home.
It is easy to forget during a walk-off celebration that these guys are full grown (some of them in their late 30s) men! They instantly become 6 year old boys when a teammate hits a walk-off home run.
Multiple teams do different things when they win on a walk-off. Martin Prado of the Arizona Diamondbacks is known for picking up dirt from home plate and shoving it down his teammate’s jersey. The Tampa Bay Rays are known for pulling off both the player’s pants and shirt. The Dodgers, even just a couple days ago, ripped Adrian Gonzalez’s jersey until it tore at the seams.
Another thing about walk-offs, they don’t just happen at home plate. Even with a walk-off single or double, the whole team goes out onto the field and tackles their teammate. They jab, hit, pull, push, tackle, and throw their teammate around in celebration. The walk-off is the most exciting play in baseball. It’s one of the only times you’ll see grown men act like little boys.
I got to experience two walk-offs that really stick out to me to this day. I actually was the one who hit the first one. It was all the way back in 7th grade. We were playing in the championship game of a Babe Ruth baseball tournament in The Dalles. The bases were loaded, and we were down by two. I was up and I was facing a good friend of mine on the mound.
It was like a movie, I worked the count to a full count. The next pitch was a curve ball up and a little in. I remember I hit it on a line 10 feet over the left fielder’s head. I’m rounding first and heading towards second and I see my teammate rounding third for the winning run! It was one of the most exhilarating moments of my entire baseball career. All of my teammates came out to second base and tackled me. I probably still have bruises from it.
The other one I experience was when I was in college ball at Corban. Jonathan Ramirez was up and we were tied. I remember we all were joking in the dugout that he would hit a walk-off and we could go home. Honest to God, the next pitch was sent 50 feet over the left field wall. He did it! He crushed it! I remember we all jumped over the railings and ran out to home plate to party. When he got to home plate, we couldn’t control ourselves. We were jumping up and down yelling and screaming. There really isn’t anything like that experience.
I truthfully believe that the walk-off hit is one of the most exciting things in all of sports, and it is definitely the most exciting play in Baseball!