Jarrod Saltalamacchia sent the Fenway faithful home happy last night with a pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th off Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney. The Red Sox have a storied history of walk-off hits. I have compiled a list of what I believe to be their top 5 in history.
5. Manny Ramirez – 2007 ALDS Game 2
This picture says it all. If there was ever a moment that completely summed up Manny Ramirez, this was it. Manny crushed a 1-0 pitch over the Green Monster onto Lansdowne St. giving the Red Sox a 6-3 victory and a commanding 2 games to none lead in the series against the Angels.
4. Aaron Boone – 2003 ALCS Game 7
One of the most heartbreaking moments of my life. Aaron Fucking Boone ended the Red Sox 2003 season on Tim Wakefield’s first pitch of the bottom of the 11th inning. This dramatic win gave the Yankees their 6th pennant in 8 seasons. This game is also famous for a walk-off that never happened. Pedro Martinez should have walked off the mound in the 8th inning with a lead.
*Yes, this isn’t a “Red Sox walk off”, but it’s too memorable to exclude.
3. David Ortiz – 2004 ALCS Game 5
For the second time in as many nights and for the third time that postseason, David Ortiz ended a baseball game with one swing. It wasn’t the hardest hit ball of his career, but his single on the 10th pitch of his at-bat in the 14th inning let the Red Sox live to see another day in their historic comeback against the New York Yankees.
2. Carlton Fisk – 1975 World Series Game 6
Fisk’s home run in the bottom of the 12th high is famous for not only beating the Cincinnati Reds, it’s famous for Fisk’s reaction. Camera operators missed their cues and the camera stayed on Fisk as he waved his ball fair before it hit high off the foul pole atop the Green Monster.
1. David Ortiz 2004 ALCS Game 4
Ortiz’s 2-run homer in the 12th inning gave the Red Sox a 6-4 win and kept them alive in the series. This game is remembered for Millar’s walk, Roberts’ steal, and Mueller’s single but all that would have been forgotten in a 4 game sweep if Big Papi didn’t do work in the 12th.