As baseball stadiums sit empty, still, you can’t help and look at them and think of what has happened there, memories we’ll carry with us the rest of our lives. Because when greatness has happened before, it reminds us it can, and will, happen again.
So, today at the Thirty, we take a look at the greatest moment ever at each of baseball’s 30 stadiums. What we’re really looking for is history -- what’s the moment each stadium has held that will last forever? Here are our picks.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays (Rogers Centre): Joe Carter’s World Series walk-off home run
Oct. 23, 1993 (Game 6 of World Series)
It is often forgotten that the Phillies were behind this entire game until a five-run seventh inning gave them a 6-5 lead, one they’d hold until …well, until Joe touched them all. All told, Blue Jays fans are probably happy they ended up blowing the lead.
Orioles (Camden Yards): Cal Ripken breaks Lou Gehrig's consecutive games record
Sept. 6, 1995
The best part of that remains that when Ripken blasted a homer in that game, the freaking President was on the telecast.
Rays (Tropicana Field): Evan Longoria’s walk-off homer in Game 162
Sept. 28, 2011
You feel a little bad choosing this over a win that sent the Rays to the World Series, but this was the culminating moment of one of the wildest days in recent baseball history. This game also featured Dan Johnson hitting a two-out, game-tying homer in the ninth, that is arguably the top moment in the park over Longoria.
Red Sox (Fenway Park): Dave Roberts' steal
Oct. 17, 2004 (Game 4 of ALCS)
No offense to Ted Williams, Yaz and Bullpen Cop, but there’s one play in baseball history (a history that has a lot of stolen bases!) that’s known as “The Steal,” and it’s this one.
Yankees (Yankee Stadium): Derek Jeter’s walk-off in his final game
Sept. 25, 2014
It was a very convenient David Robertson blown save that allowed the Captain one last opportunity to give the Yankee Stadium crowd a reason to scream his name. And boy did he ever take advantage of it. (Reminder, we’re only talking about the newest version of Yankee Stadium here!)
Indians (Progressive Field): Rajai Davis homers ... but the Cubs win the 2016 World Series
Nov. 1, 2016 (World Series Game 7)
Indians fans will always have a soft spot in their heart for Davis, whose game-tying homer off Aroldis Chapman was the stuff of fairy tales. But for the purposes of baseball history, the most significant moment at Progressive Field is the Cubs winning that game and their first World Series in more than a century.
Royals (Kauffman Stadium): Don Denkinger's call
Oct. 26, 1985 (World Series Game 6)
If they had clinched the 2015 World Series at home -- or if Alex Gordon had been sent home and scored at the end of the 2014 Series -- maybe that would be the moment here, but Denkinger’s call remains immortal.
Tigers (Comerica Park): Armando Galarraga’s near-miss to history
June 2, 2010
It’s a close call between this and Magglio Ordonez's homer to end the 2006 ALCS, but the grace shown by Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce made certain we’ll be talking about this forever.
Twins (Target Field): Joe Mauer's last game
Sept. 30, 2018
We’re only a decade in, so there’s plenty of time to top the local kid’s fond farewell, one that couldn’t have played out more perfectly.
White Sox (Guaranteed Rate Field): Paul Konerko's World Series grand slam
Oct. 23, 2005 (World Series Game 2)
It wasn’t the walk-off that was Scott Podsednik’s, but the whole momentum of the 2005 World Series turned when Konerko transformed a 4-2 deficit to a 6-4 lead.
Angels (Angel Stadium): Troy Percival finishes off the Giants
Oct. 27, 2002 (World Series Game 7)
One of the most underrated World Series of the last 50 years ended with the Angels winning their lone title, and tens of thousands of Angels fans (and one Rally Monkey) going nuts.
Astros (Minute Maid Park): Albert Pujols takes Brad Lidge deep
Oct. 17, 2005 (NLCS Game 5)
We really don’t mean to pile on the Astros here, but when you close your eyes and think of this stadium … this is the moment you think of, isn’t it? (The best Astros moment is probably their walk-off win in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series.)
Athletics (Oakland Coliseum): Rickey Henderson breaks the all-time stolen base record
May 1, 1991
Remember: He’s the greatest of all time. He told you, right there.
Mariners (T-Mobile Park): King Felix's perfect game
Aug. 15, 2012
Maybe the platonic ideal of how a game should be pitched. Considering that there haven’t been many postseason games here, there isn’t much competition.
Rangers (Globe Life Field): None ... yet
They haven’t played a game here yet, though Joey Gallo’s construction zone batting practice is an excellent start.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves (Truist Park): Ronald Acuña Jr.'s grand slam
Oct. 7, 2018 (NLDS Game 3)
The Braves lost this series, but this moment announced not just that Acuña was a superstar, but that he had a sense of drama, a sense of the moment.
Marlins (Marlins Park): Aaron Judge's Home Run Derby debut
July 10, 2017
Judge won his first (and to this day only) Home Run Derby at the 2017 All-Star Game festivities.
Mets (Citi Field): Johan Santana's no-hitter
June 1, 2012
The Mets thought they were never going to get a no-hitter. It turns out the wait was absolutely worth it.
Nationals (Nationals Park): The Nationals clinch a trip to their first World Series
Oct. 15, 2019 (NLCS Game 4)
Considering they lost all the home games of the World Series, earning the first World Series berth in the city since 1933 will have to suffice.
Phillies (Citizens Bank Park): The Phillies win their first World Series in almost 30 years
Oct. 27, 2008 (World Series Game 5)
Brad Lidge ends up being on this list twice, but this one, fair to say, is far more pleasant. (We also would have accepted “Roy Halladay’s NLDS no-hitter” here)
Brewers (Miller Park): Tony Plush sends the Brewers to the NLCS
Oct. 7, 2011 (NLDS Game 5)
The 2011 Brewers-D-backs series isn’t nearly as well remembered as it should be, and it ended in spectacular fashion thanks to Nyjer Morgan.
Cardinals (Busch Stadium): David Freese's triple
Oct. 27, 2011 (World Series Game 6)
Take your pick between Freese’s homer or his triple (or the two World Series the Cardinals have won at their home stadium), but for our money, the pure shock of that triple stands out.
Cubs (Wrigley Field): Babe Ruth calls his shot
Oct. 1, 1932 (World Series Game 3)
Maybe he did, and maybe he didn’t. Does it really matter?
Pirates (PNC Park): Johnny Cueto drops the ball
Oct. 1, 2013 (NL Wild Card Game)
Pirates fans had been waiting for literally decades for the opportunity to host a postseason game. The crazy hockey crowd that resulted at this Wild Card Game absolutely did not disappoint.
Reds (Great American Ball Park): Todd Frazier's Home Run Derby explosion
July 13, 2015
In front of the hometown crowd and in a new format, Frazier electrified the Derby.
D-backs (Chase Field): Luis Gonzalez's bloop single
Nov. 4, 2001 (World Series Game 7)
Even outside of the obvious cultural significance, this is one of the most consistently memorable World Series ever.
Dodgers (Dodger Stadium): Kirk Gibson pumps his way around the bases
Oct. 15, 1988 (World Series Game 1)
None of us believe what we just saw.
Giants (Oracle Park): Travis Ishikawa sends Giants to World Series; Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's HR record
Ishikawa: Oct. 16, 2014 (NLCS Game 5); Bonds -- Aug. 7, 2007
Hard to top a walk-off homer to send your team to the World Series, though Bonds breaking Aaron’s home run record in 2007 is another strong option here. (Amazingly, the Giants clinched all three of their World Series titles this century on the road.)
Padres (Petco Park): Adam Jones' World Baseball Classic catch
March 17, 2017
The greatest moment of the World Baseball Classic thus far.
Rockies (Coors Field): Matt Holliday scores the winning run in the 2007 play-in game
Oct. 1, 2007
It’ll forever be Rocktober in Denver … even if he never did get around to touching the plate.