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Tidbits and ephemera about walk-offs

Thearon W. Henderson

As promised, here are a couple of tidbits on the walk-off hits in San Francisco Giants history. A few tidbits, at least. Light on the tid, but heavy on the bit. This post probably isn't going to make as much sense if you don't read the original post here, but it will still make a little sense.

On to it.


Here's the list of teams giving up the walk-offs, in order from most to fewest:

Reds: 39
Braves: 38
Astros: 36
Dodgers: 36
Padres: 31
Pirates: 27
Cardinals: 25
Cubs: 25
Mets: 23
Phillies: 21
Expos/Nationals: 18
Diamondbacks: 14
Rockies: 8
Marlins: 8
Brewers: 6
A's: 4
Rangers: 3
Twins: 1
Yankees: 1

Nothing too surprising. It's roughly grouped by how long each team has been in the league, with the old NL Westers at the top. The Giants have played 25 regular-season games against the Rangers, and 12 percent of them have ended in a walk-off. That's … something.


Top ten by player:

1. Barry Bonds (13)
2. Willie Mays (12)
2. Jack Clark (12)
4. Willie McCovey (11)
4. Will Clark (11)
6. Bobby Bonds (9)
7. Jeff Kent (7)
7. Orlando Cepeda (7)
7. Jim Davenport (7)
7. Matt Williams (7)

That might not be the exact list you would have guessed, but it's pretty close. There wasn't a Manny Trillo sneaking into the top ten. The closest to a surprise was Benito Santiago with six.


In 1978, Mark Littell gave up walk-offs in both ends of a doubleheader. That's a restless night of sleep, I'd gather. But here are the important things to remember about Littell:

1. He was the one who gave up the Chris Chambliss home run, and …

2. He invented the Nutty Buddy. And it's no coincidence that I'm telling you this before the holidays are over.


There is something called the "ultimate grand slam", which is a walk-off grand slam with the home team down by three. It's also something that I'm guessing a six-year-old made up when he was playing fake baseball with his GI Joes. The Giants have never hit one. The closed they've come is with three-run homers down by two. That happened in '59 (Leon Wagner), '71 (Dick Dietz), '73 (Bobby Bonds), '82 (Reggie Smith, Jack Clark), '84 (Joel Youngblood), '85 (Dan Gladden, Rob Deer), '88 (Will Clark), '95 (Barry Bonds), and '06 (Ray Durham).

This is the last walk-off homer by the Giants when they were trailing:

It was the cake game!


The following players have more than one walk-off hit: Brad Wellman, Eugenio Velez, Dan Ortmeier, Darren Lewis, J.R. Phillips, Mike Ivie, Tim Foli, Shawon Dunston, and Tom O'Malley.

Buster Posey doesn't have one yet.

Starting to wonder about that draft pick, guys.


Only one pitcher has been victimized five times by the Giants: Roy Face, who walked off the field with his head down five times from 1958 to 1966. Roy Face was actually something of a proto-closing legend


Roy Face.


The 1985 Giants lost 100 games. They were 22-36 in one-run games. They have, by far, the most walk-offs of any team in San Francisco history, with 15.



Top five that I attended:

5. Bob Brenly, 9/14/86
This was the three-error game, and I was there, dammit. Everyone else says they were, too, but I really was. My mom says so! It's this low because I was eight, and I don't remember it.

4. Juan Uribe, 8/12/09
A blown call at first let the Dodgers tie the game off Lincecum in the ninth, but Guillermo Mota did Guillermo Mota things to save it for the Giants.

3. Angel Pagan, 7/1/12
lol jay bruce

2. Damon Berryhill, 9/10/97
One of my favorite games ever. McGwire his his 50th, Phil Plantier tossed me a foul ball, Stan Javier tied it with a homer in the ninth, and Berryhill won it with a walk-off single after J.T. Snow was intentionally walked.

1. Barry Bonds, 6/30/95
One of the games that made me start loving baseball again. The Giants were down two against Trevor Hoffman with two on and two out. I remember the side of Candlestick I was watching from, and I remember running into a guy from high school afterward. We excitedly said, "Hey, you a Giants fan?" And he said, "Not this year." And I thought, "Man, what a weenie response."

He was probably right, though. The '95 Giants … fleh.


Roy Face.