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Iconic World Series HRs that won't be forgotten

September 15, 2019

On baseball's grandest stage, the importance of every home run is amplified, and there are many, many options when it comes to choosing the most memorable homers in World Series history. Obviously, the title-winning home runs hit by Joe Carter for the Blue Jays in 1993 and Bill Mazeroski for

On baseball's grandest stage, the importance of every home run is amplified, and there are many, many options when it comes to choosing the most memorable homers in World Series history.

Obviously, the title-winning home runs hit by Joe Carter for the Blue Jays in 1993 and Bill Mazeroski for the Pirates in 1960 deserve special recognition, as they are among just 11 World Series-ending walk-offs in history. Beyond those famed big flies, the four blasts below stand out as the most iconic Fall Classic homers of the past century.

Kirk Gibson, Dodgers
1988 World Series Game 1 vs. A's

Playing without Gibson, the soon-to-be National League MVP, the Dodgers were heavy underdogs against an A's club that won 104 games in 1988, and Oakland was seemingly on its way to a 4-3 victory in Game 1. But after Mike Davis drew a two-out walk against A's closer Dennis Eckersley, Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda opted to call upon a hobbled Gibson to pinch-hit.

On Eckersley's eighth pitch of the at-bat, Gibson connected for a stunning walk-off home run into the right-field bleachers and gingerly limped around the bases, pumping his fist in triumph as he rounded second. Adding to the moment was the fact Jack Buck and Vin Scully each had a chance to put his unique spin on the play, as they were calling the game on separate broadcasts. The Dodgers would go on to win in five games.

Carlton Fisk, Red Sox
1975 World Series Game 6 vs. Reds

Yes, the Reds ultimately won the World Series crown in 1975, extending the "Curse of the Bambino" another year with a 4-3 victory in Game 7. But the lasting image of this Fall Classic was Fisk hopping out of the batter's box at Fenway Park and waving fair his deep fly ball over the Green Monster.

Fisk's 12th-inning smash, which came four frames after Bernie Carbo belted a game-tying, pinch-hit, three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, kept Boston's hopes alive for another day.

David Freese, Cardinals
2011 World Series Game 6 vs. Rangers

The 2011 Cardinals were a resilient bunch, winning the NL Wild Card by one game after having trailed the Braves by 10 1/2 games on the morning of Aug. 26, then defeating the 102-win Phillies in five games in the NLDS and the division-rival Brewers in the NLCS. So it was no surprise that they didn't roll over when they were down to their final strike twice in Game 6 of the World Series against the Rangers.

In the bottom of the ninth, Freese brought home the tying runs with a two-out triple that just barely eluded right fielder Nelson Cruz. The next inning, Lance Berkman tied the game once again with a two-out single. Freese continued to build his October legend in the bottom of the 11th, slugging a walk-off homer to force Game 7 -- another Cards win -- as broadcaster Joe Buck evoked the memory of his father Jack's call on Kirby Puckett's walk-off homer in Game 6 of the World Series 20 years earlier.

Reggie Jackson, Yankees
1977 World Series Game 6 vs. Dodgers

Jackson was already a postseason hero during his time with the A's, but this is when he officially became "Mr. October." Signed by the Yankees prior to the 1977 season, Jackson helped end a title drought that spanned more than a decade.

After hitting .353 with two home runs in the first five games of the World Series against the Dodgers as the Yanks took a 3-2 series lead, Jackson crushed three home runs in the Game 6 clincher. His colossal eighth-inning clout into the black seats in dead center field at Yankee Stadium gave him a big fly on each of his final four swings of the series and made him just the second player ever with a three-homer game in the Fall Classic, after Babe Ruth (twice).

Best of the rest

Here are some more home runs that hold a special place in World Series history.

Max Muncy, Dodgers
2018 World Series Game 3 vs. Red Sox

Muncy ended the longest World Series game ever in terms of time (7 hours, 20 minutes) with his 18th-inning walk-off home run off Nathan Eovaldi in last year's Fall Classic. Watch >

Rajai Davis, Indians
2016 World Series Game 7 vs. Cubs

Although the Indians went on to lose in the 10th, Davis' shocking eighth-inning home run off Aroldis Chapman gave Cleveland hope in Game 7. Watch >

Tino Martinez, Derek Jeter and Scott Brosius, Yankees
2001 World Series Games 4 and 5 vs. D-backs

The Yankees stunned the D-backs and their closer, Byung-Hyun Kim, on back-to-back nights, with Martinez (Watch) and Brosius (Watch) each hitting two-out, two-run, game-tying homers in the bottom of the ninth. After Martinez's blast, Jeter won Game 4 with the walk-off that made him "Mr. November." Watch >

Kirby Puckett, Twins
1991 World Series Game 6 vs. Braves

This game was a showcase for Puckett's many talents, as the outfielder robbed Ron Gant of extra bases with a spectacular catch early on before sending the series to Game 7 with a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th. Watch >

Willie Stargell, Pirates
1979 World Series Game 7 at Orioles

Stargell was the 1979 NL MVP and the heart and soul of the "We are Family" Bucs, so it was fitting that he delivered the hit -- a go-ahead, two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning during Game 7 -- that essentially brought Pittsburgh its second title of the decade. Watch >

Dusty Rhodes, Giants
1954 World Series Game 1 vs. Indians

Two and a half innings after Willie Mays made "The Catch," Rhodes ended Game 1 of the 1954 World Series with a pinch-hit, three-run shot off Bob Lemon in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Giants their first win in a surprising four-game sweep over the 111-win Indians. Watch >

Babe Ruth, Yankees
1932 World Series Game 3 at Cubs

As legend goes, Ruth called his shot by pointing to the center-field bleachers at Wrigley Field before hitting a home run to center on the very next pitch. Watch >

Thomas Harrigan is a reporter for MLB.com.