Top Nine Yankees Postseason Walk-Off Homers
By Lou DiPietro
The Yankees have had seemingly hundreds of big postseason home runs, hit by big names (like Ruth, Mantle, Jeter, and Jackson) and unsung heroes (like Brosius, Boone, and Leyritz) alike.
This year, it's Raul Ibanez who is making Bombers history, as through the Yankees' first eight games, he has smacked a single postseason-record three game-tying or game-winning home runs in the ninth inning or later, one of which (his second blast in Game 3 of the ALDS against Baltimore) was just the Yankees' 12th postseason walk-off homer ever.
With that in mind, we here at The Niner felt it was only fair to salute Ibanez and the other men who have gone deep into the Bronx night to give the Yankees an important October win.
JOSE MIJARES GETS A TEX MESSAGE (2009 ALDS)
Prior to Ibanez, Teixeira's 11th-inning homer off Minnesota's Jose Mijares in Game 2 of the 2009 ALDS was the last Yankees postseason walk-off, but Mark's "Tex Message" might not have been sent without Alex Rodriguez's game-tying two-run homer off Joe Nathan in the ninth inning.
LEYRITZ' OTHER BIG HOMER (1995 ALDS)
You likely have better memory of Leyritz' home run in Game 3 of the 1996 World Series, but a year earlier, his 15th-inning blast off Seattle's Tim Belcher in Game 2 of the 1995 ALDS gave the Yankees a 2-0 series lead and gave a youngster named Mariano Rivera his first postseason victory.
SORIANO'S REVENGE (2001 ALCS)
Six years after that epic Yankees-Mariners ALDS, Alfonso Soriano got the Bombers a measure of revenge in the 2001 ALCS, smacking a two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth of Game 4 to give the Yankees a 3-1 win and 3-1 series lead over a Seattle squad that had won an AL-record 116 games.
BERN BABY BERN, PARTS 1 AND 2 (1996 and 1999 ALCS)
Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS is the "Jeffrey Maier Game," but it was Bernie Williams' 11th-inning blast that actually gave the Yankees the win. Three years later, he did it again, taking Boston's Rod Beck deep in Game 1 of the 1999 ALCS to become the first player with two postseason walk-off homers.
THE MICK GETS EVEN (1964 World Series)
Early in Game 3 of the 1964 World Series, Mickey mantle made a key error that allowed the Cardinals to score. So what's the best way to get even? Crushing his record 16th World Series home run to win the game 2-1, of course.
CHAMBLISS RUNS THE GAUNTLET (1976 ALCS)
Chris Chambliss' home run in Game 5 of the 1976 ALCS was notable because it not only ended the game but also the series, sending the Yankees to their first World Series in over a decade. Fans at Yankee Stadium were so excited, they did their best Stanford band impression.
THE SAGA BEGINS (1949 World Series)
Among all the big names with huge postseason home runs is Tommy Henrich, whose fourth and final World Series home run came off Brooklyn's Don Newcombe at the end of Game 1 of the 1949 World Series - marking the first walk-off home run in World Series history.
MOVE OVER MR. OCTOBER (2001 World Series)
The 2001 World Series was chock-full of huge home runs, but perhaps none was bigger than Derek Jeter's 10th-inning shot that ended Game 4 and gave him the moniker of "Mr. November." What more can you say?
AARON BLEEPIN' BOONE (2003 ALCS)
Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS wasn't the best day for a lot of players, Yankees and Red Sox alike, but of the eight home runs Aaron Boone hit in pinstripes, only one gave the Bombers what John Sterling would call "the most dramatic win in team history."