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Walk-Off Home Runs

Posted by Raphy on November 3, 2010

One of the nice new features of the PI event finders is the ability to search multiple years when the sample is small enough. Here are the career leaders in Walk-Off  Home Runs since 1950. (Due to the addition of the new "OR" feature, the search for walk-offs has changed. You now need to select "Go Ahead", "Home", Inning "9" and Inning "10+")

Frank Robinson 12
Mickey Mantle 12
Jim Thome 12
Tony Perez 11
Sammy Sosa 10
Dick Allen 10
Harold Baines 10
Barry Bonds 10
Reggie Jackson 10
David Ortiz 10
Mike Schmidt 10
Alex Rodriguez 9
Hank Aaron 9
Eddie Murray 9
Roy Sievers 9
Vladimir Guerrero 9

It is interesting to note that 10 of the 2944 walk-off homers have been hit by pitchers.

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1957-05-30 (1) Lou Sleater DET KCA Wally Burnette tied 5-5 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.24 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
2 1 1957-09-05 Bob Grim NYY BOS Willard Nixon tied 2-2 b9 12- 2 3 0.39 4.31 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run; Lumpe Scores; Slaughter Scores
3 1 1957-09-06 Dixie Howell CHW KCA Wally Burnette tied 3-3 b9 --- 1 1 0.42 1.75 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
4 1 1958-05-26 Murry Dickson KCA BAL Arnie Portocarrero tied 4-4 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.23 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run (Deep LF)
5 1 1960-08-25 Glen Hobbie CHC PIT Vinegar Bend Mizell tied 1-1 b9 --- 2 1 0.47 1.33 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run (Deep LF)
6 1 1963-06-06 Lindy McDaniel CHC SFG Billy Pierce tied 2-2 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.21 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
7 1 1966-09-21 Juan Marichal SFG PIT Roy Face tied 5-5 b9 --- 1 1 0.42 1.75 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
8 1 1967-06-19 (1) Steve Hargan CLE KCA Chuck Dobson tied 2-2 b9 1-- 2 2 0.44 2.13 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run; Brown Scores
9 1 1969-05-10 Jim Hardin BAL KCR Moe Drabowsky tied 5-5 b9 --- 1 1 0.43 1.72 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
10 1 1986-04-25 Craig Lefferts SDP SFG Greg Minton tied 8-8 b12 --- 1 1 0.43 1.71 *ENDED GAME*:Home Run
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/3/2010.

There have also been 14 (recorded) inside-the-park walk-off home runs since 1950.

Yr# Gm# Date Batter Tm Opp Pitcher Score Inn RoB Out Pit(cnt) RBI WPA RE24 LI Play Description
1 1 1965-06-11 Johnny Callison PHI HOU Jim Owens tied 5-5 b10 --- 2 1 0.47 1.28 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
2 1 1966-08-01 Dick Allen PHI HOU Jim Owens tied 5-5 b10 --- 0 1 0.37 2.21 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
3 1 1966-08-02 Paul Schaal CAL NYY Hal Reniff tied 5-5 b11 --- 1 1 0.43 1.63 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
4 1 1971-08-22 (2) Reggie Jackson OAK BOS Sonny Siebert tied 1-1 b9 --- 2 1 0.47 1.24 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
5 1 1973-09-03 (1) Richie Hebner PIT STL Eddie Fisher tied 4-4 b13 --- 0 1 0.37 2.21 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
6 1 1977-04-11 Toby Harrah TEX CLE Dave LaRoche tied 2-2 b10 --- 1 1 0.42 1.82 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
7 1 1978-05-12 Amos Otis KCR NYY Rich Gossage down 3-2 b9 1-- 2 2 0.90 3.44 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (CF-RF); Porter Scores
8 1 1979-06-09 Willie Wilson KCR NYY Ken Clay tied 8-8 b13 --- 0 1 0.36 2.29 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to LF (LF-CF)
9 1 1986-05-11 Bill Almon PIT HOU Charlie Kerfeld tied 3-3 b12 --- 1 1 0.42 1.75 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
10 1 1989-05-15 Bob Dernier PHI SFG Craig Lefferts down 2-0 b12 12- 2 3 (1-1) 3 0.92 3.32 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to LF (Line Drive to Short LF Line); Thon Scores; Lake Scores
11 1 1994-08-01 Marquis Grissom MON STL Rich Rodriguez tied 2-2 b10 --- 0 5 (1-2) 1 0.36 2.28 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (Fly Ball)
12 1 2000-08-27 Bobby Abreu PHI SFG Aaron Fultz tied 1-1 b10 --- 0 2 (1-0) 1 0.35 2.31 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (Deep CF)
13 1 2001-08-20 Ken Griffey CIN STL Andy Benes tied 4-4 b11 --- 1 8 (3-2) 1 0.41 1.88 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to CF (Fly Ball)
14 1 2004-06-11 Rey Sanchez TBD COL Shawn Chacon tied 7-7 b10 --- 1 5 (2-2) 1 0.41 1.86 *ENDED GAME*:Inside-the-park Home Run to RF (Line Drive)
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 11/3/2010.

There have been frequent discussions about walk-off grand slams when down by 3 runs have . All of the ones since 1950 can now easily be found in one simple search.

Finally, some players have a flair for the dramatic. Here are the players (since 1950) with multiple career walk-off home runs when trailing with 2 outs.

Frank Robinson 3
Shawon Dunston 2
Amos Otis 2
Jerry Lynch 2
Joel Youngblood 2
Willie Horton 2
Mark Loretta 2
Fred McGriff 2
Gregg Zaun 2
Don Lock 2
Cliff Floyd 2
Bip Roberts 2
Sammy Sosa 2
Bobby Grich 2
Manny Ramirez 2
Brian Jordan 2
Alex Rodriguez 2
David Ortiz 2
Bobby Bonilla 2
Harmon Killebrew 2
Chris Chambliss 2
Dante Bichette 2
Roy Campanella 2
Steve Finley 2
Frank Thomas 2

39 Responses to “Walk-Off Home Runs”

  1. Larry R. Says:

    So is Craig Lefferts the only man to both hit and allow a walkoff HR? You could win a few rounds at the corner pub with that one if true.

  2. Tmckelv Says:

    I like that list of multiple walk-offs where the team was trailing with 2 outs.

    Any list with Roy Campanella and Joel Youngblood is awesome.

  3. statboy Says:

    How come Clemente's inside-the-park walk-off grand slam in 1956 doesn't make the list?

  4. DavidRF Says:

    No play-by-play information is available for that game. See the bottom of the retrosheet box.

  5. SJBlonger Says:

    Gary Peters (P) hit a walkoff as a pinch-hitter in this game:

  6. Hartvig Says:

    Wally Burnette allowed 2 walk off home runs to pitchers in the same season. I'll bet that record stands longer than Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak.

    Gary Peters & Don Drysdale are 2 of the better arguments against the DH.
    They were both used pretty often as pinch hitters and really helped themselves at the plate.

  7. Devon & His 1982 Topps blog Says:

    Awesome listing! But it stirs a question in my brain... does a walk-off count as a walk-off if the game ended after just 5 innings due to rain or snow or anything? They're not as dramatic, since we don't know if the game will continue or not once the delay starts, so I'm not sure if people think of those as walk-offs or rain-off's or something.

  8. Jeff Wise Says:

    I really don't know what to say. These are some of the coolest stats I've seen in a while.

    It's hard to believe that Reggie Jackson had an inside the park home run! The ball must have taken a bad bounce.

  9. Brokebat Says:

    Great category and breakdown. I especially liked the pitchers walk-off HR stats inclusion. Being a life-long Twins fan I still remember games when pitchers Jim Kaat and Mudcat Grant would be used as either a pinch hitter or a pinch runner.

  10. Mike Says:

    @4, why do you need play-by-play data? I can fill in the entire chart from the information in the box score in the link you provided.

    Date: 1956-07-25
    Batter: Roberto Clemente
    Team: PIT
    Opp: CHC
    Pitcher: Jim Brosnan
    Score: Down 5-8
    Inning: b9
    RoB: 123
    Out: 0
    RBI: 4
    WPA: .6974
    LI: 5.65

    WPA and LI calculated using:

  11. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Jeff, I wasn't around then, but I think the young Reggie Jackson could really fly. Didn't he play RB for ASU?

    checking wiki....he did get a football scholarship to ASU, but only played for a year. He was a RB in high school.

  12. statboy Says:

    Reggie Jackson had 28 steals in one season.

    BTW, Prince Fielder has 2 ITP HRs.

  13. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I noticed something else interesting about the game where Clemente hit his (slide-off?) inside-the-park grand slam. Jerry Kindall of the Cubs appeared only as a pinch runner, yet he also had a plate appearance during the Cubs' seven-run eighth. That doesn't happen very often, does it?

    The PI shows that players appearing only as pinch runners have had plate appearances in roughly 55 games since 1920. (I say "roughly" because the PI seems to label as "PR" any pinch hitters whose names aren't followed by "PH" in the box scores. This happens in a handful of games — e.g., twice for PHA-CHW 8/1/50.) As you'd probably expect, the list is pretty much a grab-bag, with some fun names like Van Mungo, Bob Seeds, Willie Randolph during his brief stay in Pittsburgh, Nino Espinosa in the 1979 23-22 PHI-CHI game, etc.

    Here's the fun part. Only two players have registered pinch-runner plate appearances on two different occasions: Peanuts Lowrey (1949, 1950) and Eric Davis (1985, 1993). Any list pairing Peanuts Lowrey and Eric Davis makes my inner trivia geek happy.

  14. zack Says:

    Poor Wally Burdette...He gave up two walkoff home runs to pitchers in the same season!

  15. LJF Says:

    @ #2 - and any list that starts with Frank Robinson and Shawon Dunston.

  16. DavidRF Says:

    For this particular play, you are correct, you can get the game situation from just the box for this one play. That doesn't work for almost any other play, though. I don't work here, but I think its reasonable that plays from games without play-by-play data are not put into the play index.

    That said, if you wanted to find Game-Ending HR's and Game-Ending ITP HR's, you could mine the HR logs. There's no play-by-play restriction on those. Plus, I believe they are maintained back further than retrosheet boxes and PBP's. There's no search engine for those here that I know of though.

  17. TheGoof Says:

    Does this include any postseason ones?

  18. Chris J. Says:

    Sounds great - but question or two:

    WHERE in the Play Index is this? Batting Game Finder?

    Where is the "Or" feature?

    Where is the "Go ahead" choice?

  19. Raphy Says:

    Chris -
    Event Finders - Batting by Team

    The "Or" feature is used by the PI event finder whenever you select 2 filters in the same category. Sean mentioned it here.

    "Go Ahead" is one of 4 options listed on top of the results box.

    BTW: One of the first things I thought of when Sean added the multiple years and OR was your list of inside the parkers at THT. It would be much easier to compile now. I noticed a couple of challenges, however. The first is that there are occasionally inside the park hrs that are fielded by infielders (after bouncing off the wall). They are called IP-4 etc. Also there are a whole lot of HRs that have a ? as a location.

  20. Raphy Says:

    @ 16 - It doesn't.

    Here are all of the walk-off HRs in postseason history:

    Gibson in the '88 WS was the only one trailing with 2 outs.

  21. Thomas Says:

    Not related at all....

    Any idea when the 2011 team schedules will be put up?

  22. steven Says:

    August 7, 1972: Ted Sizemore hit a walk-off inside-the-park homer in the 13th inning against the Mets, for the Cardinals.

  23. Dr. Doom Says:

    I recall reading somewhere on this blog or another one that Frank Robinson was a notoriously bad "clutch" hitter among the great hitters of all time (it was something like him having the worst WPA in high-leverage situations among all players with at least 8000 PA or something like that). I can't recall what it was exactly, obviously, but it's interesting to see that the impression I got from it, which was Frank Robinson=bad clutch hitter, is the exact OPPOSITE impression this post gives. That's why it's really important to consider all the data, and not just some of them. Interesting stuff.

  24. Raphy Says:

    @21 - Indeed it was. That should be fixed.

  25. DavidRF Says:

    Here are some walk-off totals for guys with pre-1950 seasons using the HR logs:

    Ruth - 12
    Foxx - 12
    TWilliams - 3
    Ott - 4
    Gehrig - 3
    Musial - 12
    Kiner - 8
    Dimaggio - 4
    Mize - 1
    Berra - 7
    Greenberg - 6
    Simmons - 4
    Hornsby - 5
    Klein - 2

  26. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Dr. Doom, Robinson does have the second worst "clutch" (as defined by the difference between WPA and WPA/LI) since 1950.

    I'm trying to determine if that could be skewed by the fact that the average LI during that era seems to be elevated (as I noted in the Willie Stargell thread). I don't think so, but my head is a little foggy right now so I may not be wrapping myself around it right.

    Among various splits: he didn't hit quite as well with RISP as one might expect; he hit better in low-leverage situations than higher ones; he didn't hit as well in close games as when the score was loose.

    Of course, he was still a very good hitter in all those spots, just not as good as one might expect based on his overall performance.

  27. Chris J. Says:


    I still don't see an "OR" function, though. Then again, I just started looking.

    By clicking on Inside-9, Inside-8, and Inside-7 as locations, I DID come across an extra walkoff insider your list above didn't have: 6-12-86. NOTE: I looked in pitchers, not hitters. That might explain the differences.

  28. Chris J. Says:

    Actually, neither the list I referred to in post #26 nor your list above goes back to 1950, just 1965.

    I just noticed it says 1965-2010 at the end of my search and I know of at least one inside walk-off neither of our lists contains: Roberto CLemente hit a walk-off inside the park GRAND SLAM in 1956 or so.

  29. Mike Felber Says:

    Interesting that the 2 guys I was involved in comparing in another thread have the highest walk off HR per career HR on this list-Perez & Allen.

  30. steven Says:

    @23: I was sitting in the left-field bleachers that night when Cleon Jones misplayed Sizemore's hit. Too bad it wasn't still Seaver vs. Gibson in the thirteenth.

  31. Basmati Says:

    Some neat things thrown up on the walk off inside the park list - the first two were both done by PHI against HOU, in fact against the same pitcher. And the second of those was the first of two on consecutive days - there've been 14 in 46 years so to get two on consecutive days seems pretty unlikely!

    Is Kendry Morales the only guy to ever hit a walk off grand slam and have to be carried off on a stretcher??

  32. BSK Says:

    ARod's presence on these lists just goes to show one thing... he only performs in the clutch during the REGULAR season. When it's easy. Another check in the "He's a choke artist" column.

  33. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Don Lock! A blast from my Washington Senators expansion team past!

    Here's something interesting I discovered regarding Mike Schmidt's walk-off homers: In each of his first three full seasons in the majors, 1973-1975, his first home run that year was a walk-off and was also his only walk-off each year. (His first homer of 1973 was his second career home run.) Hitting a walk-off for his first home run of the season did not happen again in his career, although in 1982, his second of the year ended the game.

  34. Mike Felber Says:

    No, it does not prove that BSK. A-Rod has 9 walk off HRs in the regular season. But he has approaching 18 times as many Plate appearances there compared to the post season. Therefor, if he had the same rate of walk offs in October, you would not expect him to have hit one yet.

    Also, even accounting for him not doing as well the last couple of years, his OPS + in the post season is close to what it is in the regular season. And due to top pitchers being used more often, not the worst starters, the average guy hits WORSE in the post season. Even Mantle did worse, & he is one of the very few players who statistically seemed to do better in regular season "clutch" situations.

  35. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Knowing his posting persona, I assumed BSK was kidding. But who knows....

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  38. CatNamedManny Says:

    Adding in the postseason makes the all-time (post-1950) leaders:

    1. Mantle - 13
    2. F. Robinson - 12
    2. Thome - 12
    2. Ortiz - 12

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