The 2012 Major League Baseball season had some great moments. From the league’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years to several perfect games and no-hitters to playoff berths by the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles, and Oakland Athletics, “America’s Pastime” was chock full of incredible stories. Despite all of that, there aren’t too many things in baseball that beat the feeling that a long ball conjures up.
As a result, I have decided to compile my list of the five most memorable home runs of the 2012 MLB season:
#5: Freddie Freeman’s Walkoff Homer Sends Atlanta Braves to Playoffs
Freddie Freeman’s two-run bomb on September 25 gave the Atlanta Braves a 4-3 win over the Miami Marlins and ended the year-long misery of Braves Nation after 2011’s September collapse. It sent Turner Field into a frenzy and allowed the Braves to crack open some bubbly as they celebrated a National League wild-card berth.
#4: Chipper Jones’ Walkoff Homer Helps Braves Overcome a Six-Run Deficit
Trailing 7-1 after three innings and 7-3 after eight innings on September 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field, the Braves made a furious ninth-inning rally, capped by a three-run game-winning blast off the bat of Chipper Jones to win a game that seemed lost. In the end, Atlanta won 8-7.
#3: Josh Hamilton’s Fourth Homer in a Single Game
On May 8, Josh Hamilton smacked three two-run homers — and then he smacked another one en route to becoming the 16th player in MLB history to clobber four dingers in one game. He did so as part of a 10-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
#2: Raul Ibanez’s Walkoff Homer Gives New York Yankees a 2-1 American League Division Series Lead
October 10 at Yankee Stadium was the time and place where the unthinkable happened: 40-year-old Raul Ibanez pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez and hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie things with the Orioles 2-2. That’s far from the end of the story, though. The real magic occurred when Ibanez ended the game with another solo shot in the bottom of the 12th to give the Yankees a 3-2 triumph in Game 3 of the ALDS.
#1: Pablo Sandoval’s Third Homer in a World Series Game
In the World Series opener against the Detroit Tigers on October 24 at AT&T Park, San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval did something that only Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols had ever done: He registered his third homer in a Fall Classic game. In doing so, he helped the Giants to an 8-3 Game 1 win.