Top MLB postseason moment for each team


Each Major League Baseball team has an iconic October moment.

They may not have a postseason highlight compilation as extensive as the reels belonging to the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers, but each has at least one moment that produces goosebumps each time it’s rewatched.

That could be a walk-off hit in a play-in game, the final out of the World Series or something in between.     

Here is a look back at what is arguably each team’s most memorable postseason moment:

Arizona DiamondbacksTony Womack’s RBI double, 2001 World Series, Game 7

Starting off with a curveball. Sure, Luis Gonzalez followed with a walk-off single off Mariano Rivera to win the World Series. But there was a lot more pressure on Tony Womack two batters prior to the walk-off hit when the D-backs were down a run with runners on first and second and one out. Womack lined a double to right to even the score and set the stage for Gonzalez.

Atlanta BravesWinning the 1995 World Series

The triumvirate of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz probably should have won multiple World Series championships together, making the one they did capture all the more special.

Baltimore Orioles Brooks Robinson's backhand play, 1970 World Series, Game 1

It exists only in memory and grainy video, but third baseman Brooks Robinson made one of the greatest defensive plays in Fall Classic history. On a chopper down the line, Robinson made a backhanded play in foul territory and delivered a leaping throw to get the out at first.

Boston Red Sox2004 American League Championship Series, Game 7

Sure, the Red Sox vanquishing the “Curse of the Bambino” and winning their first World Series in 86 years is the defining moment in franchise history. But it wouldn’t have happened had the Red Sox not completed what no team in baseball history had ever done: come back from a 3-0 series deficit. And they did it in the Bronx against the Yankees.

Chicago CubsWinning the 2016 World Series

Cubs fans had been saying “Wait ‘til next year” for more than a century. “Next year” finally arrived.

Chicago White SoxScott Podsednik’s walk-off home run, 2005 World Series, Game 2

The team on Chicago’s South Side had also gone quite some time without winning a World Series – 88 years to be exact. That drought ended in 2005 with a sweep of the Houston Astros. In Game 2, the Astros rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the score, but Scott Podsednik responded in the bottom of the inning with a walk-off homer.

Cincinnati Reds Tony Perez sparks rally, 1975 World Series, Game 7

The Reds, one game after losing on the famed Carlton Fisk extra-inning home run, had been blanked through the first five innings of Game 7. That was until Tony Perez crushed a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to pull them within 3-2. Pete Rose followed with an RBI single in the seventh and Joe Morgan drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth

Cleveland Guardians – Rajai Davis’ game-tying home run, 2016 World Series, Game 7

Yes, in the winner-take-all Game 7 between two teams with lengthy World Series droughts, Cleveland went on to lose to the Cubs in extra innings. But when Rajai Davis launched a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie the score, it was one of the most dramatic home runs in baseball history. So, it gets the edge over Eddie Murray’s 1995 World Series walk-off hit and Tony Pena’s 1995 ALDS walk-off homer.

Colorado Rockies Matt Holliday’s slide, 2007 Wild Card Play-In

The Rockies' run to the World Series began with a highly dramatic win in the play-in game, which we’ll make an exception for even though it’s technically not a postseason game. Matt Holliday delivered a game-tying triple in the bottom of the 13th inning and then came home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly. Not knowing if Holliday touched the plate while face-planting during his head-first slide, and the umpire’s delayed safe call only added to the drama.   

Detroit Tigers Magglio Ordonez’s walk-off home run, 2006 American League Championship Series, Game 4

Magglio Ordonez did what only seven other players at the time had done in major league history: ended a series with a home run. His three-run walk-off sent the Detroit Tigers to the World Series for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Houston Astros – Alex Bregman’s walk-off hit, 2017 World Series, Game 5

Alex Bregman put the Astros within one win of their first World Series championship after capping a wild, back-and-forth game with a two-out, walk-off single in the 10th inning for a 13-12 victory over the Dodgers. The Astros went on to win in seven games.

Kansas City Royals – Jorge Orta “beats” the throw to first, 1985 World Series, Game 6

The Royals needed to score a run in the bottom of the ninth inning to keep their World Series hopes alive, and they went on to score two … with some help from the first base umpire. Jorge Orta started the inning with a chopper to first and was clearly beaten to the bag by pitcher Todd Worrell, but he was ruled safe by umpire Don Denkinger. Dane Iorg soon followed with a two-run walk-off single to force Game 7, which the Royals would win 11-0 to capture their first championship.   

Los Angeles Angels – Scott Spezio sparks a rally, 2002 World Series, Game 6

It was the Rally Monkey’s finest hour. With the Los Angeles Angels down 3-2 in the series and trailing 5-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Scott Spezio hit a three-run home run to start the rally. Darin Erstad later led off the eighth with a home run, and Troy Glaus soon followed with a go-ahead two-run double to propel the Angels to the comeback win. They went on to win Game 7 by a score of 4-1 for their first World Series title.     

Los Angeles Dodgers – Kirk Gibson’s walk-off home run, 1988 World Series, Game 1

With the Dodgers trailing by a run and down to their last strike, a hobbled Kirk Gibson hit a pinch-hit, two-run home run and then limped his way around the bases while throwing fist-pumping.

Miami Marlins – Edgar Renteria’s walk-off single, 1997 World Series, Game 7

A Marlins team that had been in existence for only four seasons won the World Series when Edgar Renteria lined a two-out single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th inning for a 3-2 win against Cleveland.  

Milwaukee Brewers – Nyjer Morgan’s walk-off hit, 2011 National League Division Series, Game 5

The Brewers had not been to the LCS in nearly three decades when Nyjer Morgan got them back there with a single up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning of Game 5. Paul Molitor’s inside-the-park home run is also in consideration, but it came in a losing effort.

Minnesota Twins – Kirby Puckett’s walk-off home run, 1991 World Series, Game 6

Kirby Puckett led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a walk-off home run to force Game 7, leading Jack Buck to say, “We’ll see you tomorrow night!” What did tomorrow bring? A 10-inning shutout by Jack Morris, a walk-off single by Gene Larkin and a World Series championship for the Twins.

New York Yankees – Aaron Boone, 2003 American League Championship Series, Game 7

Babe Ruth calling his shot? Don Larsen’s perfect game? Reggie Jackson’s three home runs? Derek Jeter’s November walk-off? The Yankees have an album of greatest hits in the postseason to pick from. But erasing a four-run deficit, tying the game off Pedro Martinez days after he had thrown 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground, having Aaron Boone become the unlikely hero in the latest chapter of the rivalry and seeing “The Curse of the Bambino” live on (for one more year) might be best of all.

New York Mets – 1986 World Series, Game 6

The Mets had just scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to stay alive in the World Series. Mookie Wilson then stepped to the plate with Ray Knight on second …

“A little roller up along first … behind the bag. It gets through Buckner. Here comes Knight, and the Mets win it.”

Oakland Athletics – Dennis Eckersley closes it out, 1989 World Series, Game 4

The two most dramatic moments in the “Battle of the Bay” series between the A’s and San Francisco Giants was the 6.9-magnitude earthquake that struck the area prior to Game 3 and Dennis Eckersley covering first to just barely get the final out to win the championship.

Philadelphia Phillies – Winning the 1980 World Series

A Phillies team that was around before the World Series even began in 1903, finally won it in 1980. Ending that drought just tops Brad Lidge closing out the 2008 World Series and Roy Halladay tossing a no-hitter in the 2010 NLDS in what was the most dominant postseason pitching performance since Larsen. Bryce Harper also recently entered the conversation.

Pittsburgh Pirates – Hal Smith’s go-ahead home run, 1960 World Series, Game 7

Bill Mazeroski fans should scroll back up to the Diamondbacks for an explanation that applies here, as well. Mazeroski hit the home run that won the World Series in the bottom of the ninth inning. But it might have never happened had Hal Smith not hit a pressure-packed, go-ahead, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning for a 9-7 lead. The Yankees then rallied for two runs in the ninth to tie it, and Mazeroski led off the bottom of the inning with an iconic homer.   

San Diego Padres – The Rally, 2022 National League Division Series, Game 4

Until recently, it might have been Tony Gwynn’s game-tying “bad hop” double in the seventh inning of Game 5 of the 1984 NLCS, which helped send San Diego to its first World Series. But then came the “Rally Goose.” During Game 2 of the 2022 NLDS, a goose landed on the field at Dodger Stadium and the Padres went on to win three straight games. That was capped with a five-run rally after being down 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 4 to send the Padres to their first NLCS since 1998. 

San Francisco Giants – Winning the 2010 World Series

The Giants hadn’t won the World Series since they called New York home and Willie Mays was making iconic catches in the 1954 Fall Classic (which also could be in this top spot). The team’s cross-country championship drought ended when Brian Wilson struck out Nelson Cruz for the final out in Game 5 of the 2010 World Series, giving the Giants the first of three titles over a five-year span. 

Seattle Mariners – The Double, 1995 American League Division Series, Game 5

In their first postseason appearance, the Mariners lost the first two games of the series to the Yankees before winning two straight to force a decisive Game 5. There, they trailed 5-4 in the bottom of the 11th inning with Alex Cora on third and Ken Griffey Jr. on first. Edgar Martinez then hit a liner down the left-field line to easily score Cora for the tying run. Griffey had no intention of stopping at third as he rounded for home and beat the throw, sending the Kingdom into a frenzy and the Mariners into the ALCS. 

St. Louis Cardinals – David Freese’s heroics, 2011 World Series, Game 6

This is a 1 and 1A situation, and David Freese produced the two moments just three innings apart. The Texas Rangers were up by two runs and one out away from winning their first World Series when Freese came to the plate with two runners on. He tripled off the wall, scoring two runs to force extra innings. Freese then led off the bottom of the 11th inning with a walk-off home run to center to force Game 7, which the Cardinals went on to win 6-2. 

Tampa Bay Rays – Brett Phillips’ walk-off hit, 2020 World Series, Game 4

The Rays were one strike away from being down 3-1 against the mighty Dodgers when seldom-used Brett Phillips lined a single to center. Kevin Kiermaier easily scored the tying run, but the path home was not quite as simple for Randy Arozarena. He stumbled and fell while running down the third base line and appeared doomed. He briefly began to backtrack until the throw home got away, allowing Arozarena to slide in head first as the Rays evened the series.       

Texas Rangers – Josh Hamilton’s home run, 2011 World Series, Game 6

What could have stood as one of the sport’s most memorable home runs was ultimately reduced to a footnote (see the Cardinals above). After the Cardinals rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to deny the Rangers their first World Series title and force extra innings, Hamilton answered in the top of the 10th with a two-run home run to silence the crowd and again put Texas three outs away from a championship. And again, the Cardinals tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Freese went on to hit a walk-off home run in the 11th and the Cardinals went on to win Game 7. 

Toronto Blue Jays – Joe Carter’s walk-off home run, 1993 World Series, Game 6

Trailing by one run in the bottom of the ninth with two runners on, Joe Carter hit a three-run home run just over the left-field wall to give the Toronto Blue Jays an 8-6 win and a second straight championship. It was – and remains – only the second time in history that the World Series ended on a home run.

“Touch ‘em all, Joe. You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life,” Blue Jays announcer Tom Cheek famously said. 

Washington Nationals – Howie Kendrick’s grand slam, 2019 National League Division Series, Game 5

The Washington Nationals had been unable to advance beyond the NLDS in four appearances over a six-year span. That changed after Juan Soto was intentionally walked in the top of the 10th inning of a 3-3 game to load the bases for Howie Kendrick. Kendrick hit a grand slam that propelled the Nationals on a run that concluded with their first championship. Who hit the go-ahead home run in Game 7 of the World Series, you ask? That would be Kendrick, who delivered yet another iconic October moment.

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