Since spring training has begun, and all of us are itching for some baseball. I thought I’d write about the one thing that makes the games exciting for me…winning in walk-off fashion. Over the course of my 25 years a tribe fan, I’ve seen quite a few of them, and winning a game with a walk-off has never tired.
Nothing says “Game Over” louder than the dramatic fashion of a walk-off win. The atmosphere in the stadium after a walk-off win is indescribable. You’re left speechless and wanting more. All you can do is scream and cheer as loud as you can until you’re hoarse, and it leaves you pumped for the next game. This past summer, we’ve seen a lot of the walk-off magic. Carlos Santana’s walk off grand slam against the Tigers, Hafner had a walk-off grand slam against Toronto. Cord Phelps first major league home run was a walk-off home run against the Pirates and of course, Jason Kipnis had his first major league hit as a walk-off single with bases loaded defeating the Angels, and I was lucky enough to be down at the stadium for every single one of them.
The first time I ever witnessed a walk-off win was during the summer of 1995. It was's ninth-inning grand slam off of Angles reliever Lee Smith. Then three months later, came a walk-off win, a moment I almost never got a chance to see was by Tony Pena. I was 10 years in the summer of 1995, and the Cleveland Indians were in the playoffs. It was game one of the ALDS against Boston.
The game lasted five hours and was delayed by rain twice. By the second rain delay, my dad was ready to take my brother and me home, it was a school night and we shouldn’t have been up that late to begin with. But I begged and pleaded with my father to let me and my brother stay if the game started back up again. He agreed on one condition, that no matter how late the game ended we would still have to wake up for school. He told me if I was old enough to make the decision of wanting to stay, I am old enough to be responsible to wake up in the morning. I was glad I agreed, because in the bottom of the 13th, with 2 outs and no one on base. Tony Pena hit a 2-out blast to win the game over Boston 5-4.
However my most favorite walk-off win happened in Baltimore. The Indians won game four of the 1997 ALCS with a walk-off single by Sandy Alomar Jr. This summer I am anxious for more memorable walk-off wins, I am not saying I like seeing the tribe behind, but the walk-off wins is part of what makes the game so exciting. Not to mention the fact that when the Indians do win games on walk-off wins, in their own way, they are putting fair weathers in their place.