Jays From the Couch brings you a video tour of some of the best Walk Offs in Toronto Blue Jays history
The Blue Jays have just come off some exciting ninth- and 10th-inning wins that seem to have brought back their mojo. The roar of the crowd as those hits propelled the team to rise above their opponents and take the win was incredible. Though many fans might prefer the comfortable lead…or a blowout for their team, there is nothing quite like the feeling of the down to the wire win. The best of these kinds of wins? The walk-off home run.
With these thoughts in mind, and the Blue Jays celebrating their 40th birthday, it’s time to take a look at some of the Blue Jays exciting walk-off wins of the past. The best thing about this list? It’s only a sample!
Of course one of the most famous walk-off home runs in Blue Jays history was Joe Carter‘s home run in the bottom of the 9th inning of Game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Carter stepped up to the plate against Mitch Williams with two runners on base and one out. With a 2-2 count, he blasted the ball over left-field, winning the game and clinching the series.
It was May 28, 1989 when at the last game played at the Exhibition Stadium, George Bell stepped up to the plate in the eleventh-inning. He hit a walk-off two-run homer, closing the stadium with a Blue Jays Victory over the Chicago White Sox 7-5. A beautiful way to go out.
September 25, 2010 the Blue Jays faced rival team, the Baltimore Orioles. Blue Jay Lyle Overbay crushed a fastball from Orioles left-hander Mark Hendrickson over right-field to give the Jays a 5-4 walk-off win in the eleventh-inning. It was Overbay’s 20th home run of the season.
May 26th, 2015 Toronto Blue Jays Josh Donaldson hit a three-run walk-off home run off of Chicago closer David Robertson. Josh Thole had advanced to third after a double by Jose Reyes, when Donaldson hit the fastball over right-field. It was Donaldson’s second home run of the game and the crowd went wild.
April 18, 2015 Blue Jay Josh Donaldson – yes he could have a list all his own – had a walk-off home run leading the Blue Jays to a win over the Atlanta Braves. On his second pitch from Braves reliever Sugar Ray Marimon, Donaldson hit the ball hard into the second deck of the dome in left-field. Donaldson’s shot led the Blue Jays to a tenth-inning win over the Braves, 6-5.
It was on Sept 5, 2011 that Blue Jay Brett Lawrie hit the game winning walk-off homer in a 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. The game, which went to 11 innings, was won on a 1-1 pitch from White Sox pitcher Dan Wheeler. It was Brett Lawrie’s first MLB walk-off home run. The celebration waiting for him at home plate.
June 9, 2015 Blue Jay Edwin Encarnacion flashed the wing to bring the Jays to a victory over the Miami Marlins, keeping their win streak of 7 straight wins alive. Encarnacion had missed two games with a shoulder issue and came back with a stellar performance. As he came home with all of his teammates off the bench and waiting, he was seen patting his shoulder saying “watch the shoulder” during the celebrations.
September 1, 2015 Blue Jay Ryan Goins hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th-inning against the Cleveland Indians, snapping the Indians six game winning streak. Goins hit a breaking ball from Cleveland reliever Brian Shaw right over right-field to a roaring crowd.
June 15, 2011 Blue Jay Adam Lind hit a walk-off home run to beat the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th inning. Hitting a splitter into the second deck of the Dome off of Orioles reliever Koji Uehara, it was Lind’s 12th home run of the year for the Blue Jays.
A special mention goes to the walk-off in the longest game in Blue Jays history that happened August 10, 2014. Though it wasn’t a walk-off home run, Jose Bautista‘s game winning RBI single against the Detroit Tigers in the 19th inning was a relief-filled single that gave the Jays a 6-5 win in the marathon game. It brought in a jubilant Munenori Kawasaki to score. The game lasted six and a half hours and was the Blue Jays second consecutive extra-innings win over the Tigers. Talk about getting your money’s worth in baseball!
Finally, this past week had a walk-off home run win from Blue Jays Justin Smoak, who not only tied the game against the Texas Rangers in the 9th-inning, but was also the one to hit the walk-off blast in the 10th-inning off of Rangers pitcher Phil Klein to win the game. He is the first Blue Jay to both tie the game in the 9th and win the game in extra innings. “He Smoak’d it” was the phrase of the game.
There are many more great walk-off home runs that could be on this list, and many from Josh Donaldson alone who seems to have a knack for it. It makes for great moments in baseball. It also makes for crazy, exciting, hold your breath moments that fans and players alike don’t forget very easily. Given the makeup of the current Blue Jays and knowing what they are capable of, as well as the history of this team, it definitely has the makings of a crazy season ahead. Buckle up people, we’re in for a ride!
*Featured Image Credit: freaktography UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0
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Catherine Stem is a Blue Jays fan and writer who has combined both of these great things by writing for Jays From the Couch. Through all the ups and downs of baseball, all aspects of the game are explored. Keeping a close eye on the Blue Jays Triple A team, the Buffalo Bisons has also become part of her make-up.