Dodgers Vault: Manny's pinch-hit slam

June 13th, 2021

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

July 22, 2009: Manny being Manny in a pinch
Manny Ramirez and Hollywood were a perfect match from the start, as the slugger seemed to love the bright lights and the dramatic moments. Before the game, Ramirez was scratched from the starting lineup because of a wrist injury. It was also the day that fans in attendance received his bobblehead. He wasn’t going to disappoint, and boy, he didn’t. With the game tied, 2-2, manager Joe Torre turned to Ramirez for a pinch-hit at-bat with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. Ramirez wasted no time, turning on a first-pitch fastball to deliver his first career pinch-hit grand slam. Dodger Stadium went into a frenzy, resulting in multiple curtain calls for Ramirez. It was just Manny being Manny.

Sept. 18, 2006: Four consecutive homers tie it, Nomar wins it
The Dodgers starred in one of the most improbable ways to complete a ninth-inning comeback. With L.A. trailing the Padres, 9-5, in the ninth, Jeff Kent led off the inning with a home run to trim the deficit to three. J.D. Drew followed with a solo shot of his own. Russell Martin made it back-to-back-to-back homers to make it a one-run game. Then Marlon Anderson completed the improbable, hitting the fourth consecutive home run to begin the inning and tying the game. At the time, it was only the fourth time in Major League history that a team hit four consecutive homers and the first in the 21st century. To complete the comeback, Nomar Garciaparra won it in extras, launching a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th.

May 12, 2004: Cora wins 18-pitch at-bat
Before he became the manager of the Red Sox, Alex Cora was a pretty solid big league player. But perhaps none of his plays was as memorable as his 18-pitch at-bat against Cubs pitcher Matt Clement. Cora took a couple of balls to begin the at-bat, then the real fun started. He fouled off 14 pitches, each getting even bigger cheers from the crowd and even more excitement from Vin Scully. Cora then finally got a pitch he could handle, sending a breaking ball over the right-field wall on the 18th pitch.

Aug. 5, 2014: Kershaw, Trout go head-to-head for first time
In a much-anticipated battle of generational heavyweights, Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout squared off against one another for the first time in regular-season play on this August 2014 night at Dodger Stadium. Trout took the first two rounds with an infield single and a double, but Kershaw got his revenge with a called strike three in the third round.

Each of these stars would take home their first league MVP Awards after the 2014 season, with Kershaw notching his historic Cy Young/MVP Award combination. Trout currently owns a .200/.304/.400 slash line with a homer and a double across 23 career plate appearances against Kershaw.

July 12, 1966: Wills' walk-off single wins All-Star Game
One of the eight walk-off hits in All-Star Game history belongs to Dodgers speedster Maury Wills, who drove in Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver to give the National League a 2-1 victory in 10 innings. The 1966 Midsummer Classic marked the last of six All-Star Game appearances for Wills, and he recorded a hit in five of those six contests. Dodgers ace Sandy Koufax started the '66 All-Star Game opposite Denny McLain and allowed the NL's only run (a wild pitch that scored Brooks Robinson) across three innings.

June 19, 2004: Japanese giants battle in Chavez Ravine
Dodgers pitcher Hideo Nomo and Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui are two generational baseball names who influenced today's current crop of Japanese stars in MLB, but the two never faced each other while their careers overlapped from 1993-94 in the Central League. That meant the first Nomo-Matsui showdown came at Dodger Stadium (after each had already found success on American shores), and they made for a memorable day. Matsui took round one with a three-run homer off Nomo to give the Yankees an early 4-0 lead.

But Nomo would later strike back with a solo homer of his own. Nomo also struck out Matsui -- who called the pitcher a "hero" back in their native Japan -- twice with his signature splitter. New York took the bi-coastal matchup, 6-2.

Oct. 23, 1981: Cey's diving double play aids Valenzuela
Game 3 of the 1981 World Series is probably best remembered for the way that Dodgers sensation Fernando Valenzuela gutted his way to a gritty complete-game victory over the Yankees, but two of Valenzuela's 27 outs came by way of a huge play by third baseman Ron Cey.

Valenzuela was protecting a one-run lead in the top of the eighth when the Yanks led off with a pair of singles. Pinch-hitter Bobby Murcer tried to bunt the runners over, but Cey went airborne to rob his foul bunt attempt down the third-base line, and then got up and fired to first base in time for a huge double play. Valenzuela got out of the inning and the Dodgers earned their first win of the Series. Cey also hit a three-run homer in this contest, and he went on to share Series MVP Award honors with teammates Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.

Oct. 4, 1955: Amorós' catch spurs Brooklyn to first title
The Brooklyn Dodgers had to pull out all the stops to finally conquer the mighty Yankees and win their first World Series championship in 1955, and that included an all-time effort from left fielder Sandy Amorós in Game 7. New York had the tying runs on the bases and seemed destined to score them both when Yogi Berra lined a ball to a patch of green grass in the left-field corner. But Amorós came flying in from out of nowhere and extended his arm to snatch Berra's drive right before it hit the grass, then got the ball back in to double up Yankees baserunner Gil McDougald at first base.

Amorós' game-changing play preserved Johnny Podres' shutout in Brooklyn's momentous 2-0, title-clinching victory. Amorós, who was left-handed, had just replaced the right-handed Jim Gilliam in left field in the top half of the inning, and the switch that put Amorós in position to extend his glove hand might have been the moment that won the game for Brooklyn.

April 5, 1999: Mondesi steals show in season opener
Opening Day of the 1999 season featured a big pitching matchup between Randy Johnson and Kevin Brown, who was making his debut start for the Dodgers after becoming baseball's first $100 million pitcher. But that showdown became a much more secondary story because of Raul Mondesi, who hit a two-out, three-run homer to tie the D-backs in the bottom of the ninth and followed up with another two-out homer to win it in the 11th.

As Vin Scully noted on the broadcast, manager Davey Johnson (making his Dodgers debut) gave Mondesi a gutsy green light to swing on a 3-0 count in the ninth.

Oct. 12, 1974: Ferguson's incredible World Series assist
Buffalo Bills quarterback Joe Ferguson was establishing himself as an NFL star in 1974, but it turns out there was another Joe Ferguson with one heck of an arm. In this play from Game 1 of the 1974 World Series, the Dodgers right fielder boldly stepped in for a fly ball that had center fielder Jimmy Wynn's name all over it and fired an incredible, no-hop throw to nab Oakland's Sal Bando at home plate.

Ferguson cut in front of Wynn because Wynn was nursing a sore arm and Ferguson knew he had a better chance. Don't sleep on the effort by Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager, either, who blocked the plate with his leg and held on after Bando barreled into him. Plus: another vintage call by Vin Scully.