The Walk-off: A Bit of History and More

Baseball, MLB article at Knup Sports

The Walk-off. There is nothing more likely to illicit a response from a crowd than the walk-off home run. A Walkoff comes from the last batter of the game and if you are a fan of the home team and they smash a walk-off home run. The crowd goes nuts and there is a euphoric nature buzzing throughout the stadium. If you are from the visiting team and you witness a walk-off home run, you become all dejected and bummed out. You might even be in a state of mental depression.

The Walk-off Origination

It is thought that the term walk-off possibly was coined in 1988 when pitcher Dennis Eckersley told a reporter about the lonely walk-off he has from the mound to dugout upon losing in the last at-bat. Therefore, the term began as a negative connotation and now it is a highly positive thing in the media from the offensive side of the ball.

Historians have pinpointed this to be from a game on July 29, 1988 when Eckersley gave up a home in the 10th inning of a game at the Kingdome in Seattle that was hit by Steve Balboni smacking a three-run home run off him to create the walk-off.

It doesn’t have to be a home run as it can be from a walk-off single or walk or even a passed ball or balk.  The definition of the walk-off is ” a run scoring event in the bottom half of the last inning of the game that gives the home team a win”

The Walk-off Leaders

The player that is still active with the most walk-off home runs is  Albert Pujols. Also on the active list is Ryan Zimmerman with 11. Here is a list of the All-Time Most Walk-offs:

Jim Thome 13

Jimmie Fox 12

Stan Musial 12

Albert Pujols 12

Mickey Mantle 12

Frank Robinson 12

Babe Ruth  12

Ryan Zimmerman 11

David Ortiz 11

Tony Perez  11


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