Whether you call it a dinger, long ball, or even a grand salami, few things in sports bring fans to their feet quicker than a home run. It may be a moonshot or a laser, but they’ll put it on the board and you’ll remember where you were and whom you were with.
The following are five memorable home-run performances from the 2012 MLB season:
Scoreboard Buster, 5/21, Marlins Park: When the Miami Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton connected with the bases loaded, the fans were understandably excited. With one swing he brought the home team from a 4-2 deficit to a 6-4 lead. As the ball smashed into the left field scoreboard with enough power to knock out some of the lights, the atmosphere in the stadium became absolutely electric.
First Pitch, 7/26, Minute Maid Park: The Pittsburgh Pirates’ top hitting prospect, Starling Marte, made his MLB debut in Houston. How did he do? Batting leadoff, he hit the first pitch he ever saw 392 feet to left center, just enough to clear the fence. This will certainly remain in his memory bank forever. Too bad there weren’t more people in the seats.
Double Dip, 10/10, Yankee Stadium: Raul Ibanez pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth for the New York Yankees, who were trailing the Baltimore Orioles 2-1 in the third game of their American League Division Series. Ibanez brought the Yankee faithful to their feet with a game-tying solo shot. No one will forget his repeat performance, a walkoff home run in the bottom of the 12th.
Werth the Wait?, 10/11, Nationals Park: Game 4 of the National League Division Series featured an epic pitcher vs. hitter battle in the bottom of the ninth. Washington’s Jayson Werth fouled off pitch after pitch until he forced St. Louis’ Lance Lynn to throw lucky pitch #13. Lucky for Werth, anyway, as he made a deposit into the Cardinals’ bullpen beyond the left field wall. Washington celebrated the city’s first postseason victory, at home, since the 1933 World Series.
World Series Three-peat, 10/24, AT&T Park: In the first game of the 2012 World Series, Pablo Sandoval (aka Kung Fu Panda) hit three home runs in his first three at-bats, the first two against American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander. Sandoval’s third smash proved only the beginning for the San Francisco Giants as they swept the Detroit Tigers in four straight games.
Honorable Mention: Baseball fans everywhere will certainly remember Josh Hamilton circling the bases four times May 8 at Camden Yards.
Harold Andrews has been a baseball fan for nearly 50 years. He enjoys the anticipation of what may happen next.