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Top 10 Greatest Home Runs in MLB History!

Publish Date: 04/11/2024
Fact checked by: Mark Lewis

Nothing is more dramatic than a sudden walk-off home run, and today we look at the most incredible Home Runs ever hit. No Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire home runs are on this list because steroids aided their best home runs.

Criteria

Of course, this list can include regular-season home runs, but the majority will be playoff and World Series home runs. The walkoff variety of Home Runs will dominate this list. Some of the most spine-tingling moments in sports are when the crack of the bat spins spectators’ heads towards that outfield wall while fans of both teams hold their breath with anticipation. Mark McGwire will not be on this list because that dude cheated, It’s the end of the discussion! Yes, Steroids made Baseball fun in the 1990s, but did steroids save Baseball?

Video: 1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

10) Chris Chambliss 1976 ALCS Game 5

The 1976 ALCS between the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals was an epic struggle that ended the fifth and deciding game.

A tough-fought affair ensued with the series tied at two games apiece, as the Yankees gave up an early three-run lead before going into the bottom of the ninth tied 6-6.

Chris Chambliss took to the plate against Royals’ Mark Littell and took a first pitch from Littell, mashing it over the right-center field wall for a home run that sent the Yankees straight through to the World Series.

Video: 1976 ALCS, Gm 5: Chambliss sends Yanks to Series

1976 ALCS, Gm 5: Chambliss sends Yanks to Series

9) Roger Maris Number 61, in 1961

Roger Maris has long gone unappreciated by baseball fans.

Maris and Mickey Mantle both attempted to surpass Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homers during 1961, though many Yankees fans preferred Mantle over Maris as the one to achieve it first.

Maris, under fire from opponents and death threats alike, and well before steroids were even available in baseball, hit his 61st homer on the final day of 1961 to eclipse Ruth’s seemingly “unbreakable” record and defeat it.

Video: Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth's Home Run record in 1961

Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth’s Home Run record in 1961

8) Kirby Puckett 1991 World Series Game 6

As they entered Game 6 of the 1991 World Series, the Twins found themselves in dire straits: down three games to two and facing elimination after dropping all three games in Atlanta while facing National League Championship Series MVP Steve Avery as the Braves pitcher. But Kirby Puckett decided to put the Twins on his back; he would open with an RBI triple in the bottom of the first, and then, a few innings later, he would scale the Metrodome plexiglass to deny Ron Gant from a game-tying homer: both feats were remarkable feats of athleticism.

Unfortunately for Puckett, his work wasn’t entirely done… Atlanta rallied with two runs in the fifth and one more in the seventh to send it into extras… where Puckett led off with a homer in the 11th inning and sent everyone home safely.

Video: Gordon calls Puckett's Game 6 home run

Gordon calls Puckett’s Game 6 home run

7) Bucky Dent 1978 One Game Playoff Home Run

Bucky Dent wasn’t known for his potent bat; during his 12-year career he hit only 40 homers (never more than seven in any one season). Yet when entering the 1978 AL East tiebreaker game between the Yankees and Red Sox, Dent was batting ninth in their lineup with an OPS rating of.596, it all mattered little; all that mattered was making history-altering history! Dent hit one of baseball’s most historic home runs ever hit by anyone – no one cared much about all his other accomplishments after hitting one such notable dinger. Thia one home run forever made Dent a Yankee legend.

On July 19, the Yankees trailed Boston by ten games in their division. After two months (and one four-game sweep at Fenway Park later), both were tied atop the standings, setting up Game 163 at Fenway to determine who would advance to the ALCS.

Red Sox fans were treated to an excellent start from Mike Torrez as Carl Yastrzemski homered and Mike Torrez turned in a great start, giving the Red Sox an early 2-0 advantage into the seventh inning – just nine outs away from postseason qualification! Following singles by Chris Chambliss and Roy White, manager Don Zimmer opted for Torrez instead of continuing with other options out of the bullpen in hopes of keeping the lead until Bucky Dent came up as the go-ahead run; two pitches later  Bucky Dent to give the Red Sox a lead they would never relinquish.

Dent’s fly ball dropped gently into the net beyond the Green Monster, giving New York a 5-2 lead that ultimately propelled them to take home the World Series crown.

Video: Bucky Dent's HR in the AL East Playoff Game

Bucky Dent’s HR in the AL East Playoff Game

6) Joe Carter Game 6 1993 World Series

Not only was this the only World Series home run to come with his team trailing in their final at bat, but it also remains one of the most iconic images from this Fall Classic.

Before the 1994 strike, the Blue Jays had established themselves as a rising dynasty, winning it all in 1992 and looking to repeat. Their World Series opponent was Phillies: after suffering an agonizing 15-14 loss in Game 4, Philly rallied and won Game 5, followed by scoring five runs in the seventh of Game 6 to take a 6-5 advantage into the ninth inning of Game 6. With just three outs left until winner-takes-all Game 7, Manager Jim Fregosi turned to Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams with his lit fastball/mullet combination — only for it all to go wrong!

Williams issued a walk  to Rickey Henderson before yielding to Paul Molitor for an infield single that brought Joe Carter to the plate with only one out remaining and the game at stake:

As Carter raced home, Toronto celebrated their second straight World Series championship, and radio broadcaster Tom Cheek delivered one of baseball’s most unforgettable calls in history.

Video: 1993 WS Game 6: Joe Carter wins Series with homer

1993 WS Game 6: Joe Carter wins Series with homer

5) Kirk Gibson Game One of the 1988 World Series

Gibson won the 1988 NL MVP Award, yet when his Dodgers began Game 1 of the World Series against Oakland’s A’s, he wasn’t even present – instead, staying back in his clubhouse to treat knee and hamstring injuries that kept him off the field. Vin Scully announced early in the broadcast that Los Angeles star Kirk Gibson wouldn’t even be available as a pinch-hitter that night. Yet, Gibson was determined to prove him wrong: He immediately began icing his legs, hoping they might numb enough so he could step into the box if his team needed him for an at-bat.

As it turned out, they did. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and trailing 4-3, Los Angeles managed by Tommy Lasorda, had Mike Davis on first base and Hall-of-Famer Dennis Eckersley pitching. Lasorda decided to call on Davis, only for him to respond miraculously by hitting a seemingly impossible home run. What made this game even more special was the fact that Vin Scully was on the call for NBC Sports, and Scully was one of the best baseball broadcasters of all time!

Video: 1988 WS Game 1: Kirk Gibson's dramatic game-winning home run

1988 WS Game 1: Kirk Gibson’s dramatic game-winning home run

4) Hank Aaron number 715

Babe Ruth reigned supreme for many decades as the uncontested Dinger King of baseball. If there was a home run record to hold, The Babe probably held onto it; he even set it four times over four separate seasons (29, 54, 59 and finally 60 with the 1927 Yankees). When Ruth finally retired in 1948, he had amassed 714 career home runs, an untouchable figure.

Hank Aaron wasn’t known for staggering numbers; instead, he was known as an efficient home run machine: Hammerin’ Hank never eclipsed 44 dingers in any given year but still managed 30+ homers 15 times! Soon enough, however, that consistency paid dividends — at 40 years old entering 1974 as the season opened up, Aaron was two hits away from tying Babe Ruth’s record of 714 career homers; it only took him three games for Aaron to break it and make history!

Video: Vin Scully calls Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run

Vin Scully calls Hank Aaron’s historic 715th home run

3) Carlton Fisk Game 6, 1975

Even after just five games, the 1975 World Series proved one of the greatest ever seen: After Boston won Game 1, three more were decided by one run and included two ninth-inning rallies, walk-off wins, 163 pitch gems from Luis Tiant. But somehow, Game 6 managed to surpass all previous heights.

Boston was facing elimination at home and trailed 6-3 heading into the eighth inning. Still, former Reds first-round pick Bernie Carbo’s three-run homer tied things up. Boston had an opportunity to score in the ninth inning, while Joe Morgan was denied his home run in the 11th.

At the bottom of the 12th, Carlton Fisk faced reliever, Pat Darcy. On his second pitch, Fisk lifted a high fly ball deep down the left-field line – however, being distracted by a nearby rat inside the Green Monster, its camera operator ended up following Fisk rather than following his shot as he attempted to wave the ball fair.

Video: Must C Classic: Fisk waives walk-off home run fair to win Game 6 of 1975 World Series

Must C Classic: Fisk waives walk-off home run fair to win Game 6 of 1975 World Series

2) Bobby Thompson’s 1951 Playoff game vs the Brooklyn Dodgers

“Unless the Dodgers collapse completely in their final 50 games,” an AP story on August 10, 1951, stated, they should make it to the World Series. Given their 13-game lead over crosstown rival Giants at the end of play on Aug 11, this seemed a reasonable prediction; unfortunately, no one informed Giants of it! The Giants had won 37 out of their last 44 games, including seven consecutive at the end of the season, to catch Brooklyn on the final day.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Under Major League rules, teams would play a best-of-three series to break any tie and ultimately determine who would advance to the World Series. New York won Game 1, but Los Angeles defeated them 10-0 in Game 2, forcing a winner-take-all rubber match with everyone watching.

Game 3 was the inaugural nationally televised baseball game, even reaching U.S. soldiers stationed in Korea. Over 30,000 fans filled the Polo Grounds to witness it despite fog so thick it forced lights on at 2 p.m. After an eight-inning rally from Brooklyn’s Don Newcombe gave them a 4-1 lead entering the ninth, it seemed they would maintain it and finally finish off the Giants.

Unfortunately for them, though, everything came crashing down around them during that final inning as Newcome’s pitches became uncontrollable and ultimately and he gave way to relief pitcher Ralph Branca– who was said to have been throwing hardest in the bullpen — he gave an assurance to Newcombe as he approached the mound: “Don’t worry big fella, I’ll take care of everything.” Two pitches later against Bobby Thompson, everything had been taken care of, just not in the way that Branca had hoped.

Russ Hodges’ legendary radio call — “The Giants have won the pennant!” — became a classic primarily due to sheer chance. No local radio or TV stations recorded it; all that saved it was when one fan asked their mother to tape half an inning so he could listen when he returned from work. This game was one of the greatest pennant race collapses ever.

Video: The Shot Heard 'Round The World

The Shot Heard ‘Round The World

1) Bill Mazeroski Game 7 1960 World Series

Game 7 of the World Series is one of the greatest sporting moments ever, and only one man has managed to end it with an unlikely homer in the bottom of the ninth of game 7. The Yankees had won two out of the past four Fall Classics while Pittsburgh hadn’t taken part since 1925; nevertheless, despite New York racking up twice as many runs than Pittsburgh during the series at Forbes Field during a wild and exciting Game 7 that went back and forth like a tennis match, the Pirates took an early 4-0 lead; then, after seven unanswered runs from New York, the Pirates scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to take back control; New York tied it again in the top of ninth; but, once again, Pittsburgh led off with second baseman Bill Mazeroski, known more for his outstanding defense than hitting home runs, Maz had managed only 11 total homers so far that season – hitting one of history’s most prominent home runs.

Video: The Greatest Homerun Ever: Bill Mazeroski 1960 Walkoff Homerun (3)

The Greatest Homerun Ever: Bill Mazeroski 1960 Walkoff Homerun (3)

Honorable mention

Aaron Boone 2003 Game 7 ALCS

Red Sox Manager Grady Little decided to keep Pedro Martinez in the game despite his high pitch count to maintain their 5-3 advantage in the eighth inning.

The Yankees stormed Martinez with four hits while levelling the game 5-5; that score would remain until the 11th inning.

Aaron Boone hit a historic home run against Tim Wakefield to propel the Yankees to their first World Series since 1992.

Video: 2003 ALCS Gm 7: Boone sends Yankees to World Series with walk-off homer

2003 ALCS Gm 7: Boone sends Yankees to World Series with walk-off homer

Reggie Jackson 1977 World Series Game 6

Jackson, forever after, would be known as Mr October.

With the Yankees trying to clinch their first World Series championship in over a decade, Jackson would hit three home runs on three pitches to clinch the title for the Yankees over the Dodgers.

Video: 1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

Dave Henderson Game 5, 1986 ALCS

Just when the Curse of the Bambino had reared it’s ugly head again in Game 5, Dave Henderson stepped to the plate and crushed that curse. The Red Sox would go onto win the series in seven games. Then the curse returned in New York during the World Series.

 

 

 

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