Inspired by the Reading Eagle's recent list, Beerleaguer's own RSB recalls 25 wacky, thrilling and clutch home runs from the last 25 years.
April 18, 1987: Mike Schmidt hits his 500th career homer to give the Phillies a comeback victory over the Pirates.
September 30, 1987: Luis Aguayo homers off Jesse Orosco in the bottom of the 10th to give the Phils a 5-4 win over New York. Although Terry Pendleton's homer off Roger McDowell earlier in that month is more remembered as a crucial blow to the Mets' divisional hopes, this one came on the eve of the season's final weekend and truly sealed the Mets' fate, much to the delight of this young and vengeful fan.
May 15, 1989: Bob Dernier (who hit .171 that season) pulls off a 3-run inside-the-park HR in the 12th to beat the Giants, 3-2.
June 8, 1989: Steve Jeltz hits homers from both sides of the plate as Phillies rally from 10-0 deficit and beat the Pirates, 15-11, on a night where probability was turned on its ear.
July 23, 1990: Dickie Thon breaks up Frank Viola's no-hitter with a sixth-inning grand slam; Phils go on to beat the Mets, 7-4. This one is especially memorable due to Rich Ashburn's call.
May 20, 1991: Thon hits 2-strike, 2-out homer in bottom of ninth off Stan Belinda to beat the then-mighty Pirates, 6-5.
May 9, 1993: Mariano Duncan hits a grand slam off Lee Smith with 2 out in the 8th to erase a 5-2 deficit and send Phillies to a 22-7 record wth a sweep of the Cardinals.
September 28, 1993: A second slam by Duncan puts the Phils ahead of Pittsburgh in the 7th inning in the game that clinched the NL East.
October 11, 1993: Lenny Dykstra hits an emphatic 10th inning homerun off Mark Wohlers after Braves had scored 3 to tie in the ninth; Phillies go up 3-2 in an NLCS which they were nearly unanimously disfavored to win.
June 15, 1995: Tony Longmire pinch-hits a 2-out, 3-run HR off Houston's John Hudek following two scratch singles, beating Astros, 4-2.
May 10, 1997: In the midst of the team's abominable first half, old hero (and right fielder) Darren Daulton offers a final great moment in his Phillies career, a 2-run, game-winning homer in the bottom of the 10th to beat Colorado, 5-4.
June 16, 1998: Mike Lieberthal pinch-hits a 3-run homer in bottom of the ninth to beat Pirates at the Vet, 8-7.
July 8, 2001: Travis Lee hits a 2-out, 3-run, game-winning homer at Camden Yards to preserve the Phillies' divisional lead at the All-Star Break - slightly outshining the 3-run game-winner he hit on 5/25 off Ugie Urbina of the Expos. (For all the flak Lee got as a Phil, he had some big moments.)
September 23, 2001: Johnny Estrada hits game-winning homer in 10th inning to beat Florida, 5-4, and move the Phillies to within a half-game of the division lead.
June 21, 2003: Todd Pratt hits a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 13th to cap an astounding comeback against Boston. One of my all-time favorite games, as Jim Thome earlier homered twice with the Phils down to their last out (in the 9th and 11th) in order to keep the game preserved.
June 20, 2006: Ryan Howard connects for a tape-measure, 3-run shot off the facing of the third deck at CBP off the Yankees' Mike Mussina in the first inning; Howard would collect 7 RBI in the Phils' eventual 9-7 loss. Though he had won the ROY a year earlier and had been having a good season to that point, this performance and homerun in particular seemed to really put Howard on baseball's radar as a superstar.
September 16, 2007: Greg Dobbs unloads a pinch-grand slam off Jorge Sosa to put the Phillies ahead for good en route to a 10-6 victory, a 3-game weekend sweep of the Mets, and the finishing touch on a seven-game blitz of New York that keyed the Phils' September comeback.
May 2, 2008: Pat Burrell beats the Giants' Brian Wilson, culminating a long and hard-fought AB with a 2-strike, 2-out, 2-run homer in the 10th, 6-5.
October 2, 2008: Shane Victorino delivers the knockout blow to C. C. Sabathia, opening a 5-1 lead over the Brewers in the second inning and deciding Game 2 of the Decision Series with a thrilling grand slam into the left-field bleachers.
October 9, 2008: In the first game of the NLCS, Chase Utley hits a 2-run, game-tying homer in the sixth inning off Derek Lowe, who had completely shut the Phils down to that point. It was a key moment in the Phillies getting a leg up in the series, and it was a particlar boost coming from Utley, whose power had been largely MIA for the past four months.
October 13, 2008: Victorino shocks the Dodgers by tying Game 4 of the NLCS in the eighth inning with a two-run homer down the right-field line, in a game that had looked squandered by all rights.
October 13, 2008: Two batters after Victorino's clutch homer, Matt Stairs permanently alters the tone of the NLCS by clubbing a 2-run, pinch-hit bomb off LA's Jonathan Broxton.
October 26, 2008: Ryan Howard hits a vintage, opposite-field homer off Any Sonnanstine that opened a 5-1 lead and put the Phillies firmly in command of not only Game 4, but the World Series as a whole. The instant Howard dropped his bat, all of Philadelphia knew the series was theirs.
April 24, 2009: After trying to lean into a pitch earlier in the AB, Victorino comes through with another incredibly well-timed grand slam, with two outs in the ninth off Matt Lindstrom and the Marlins to highlight a seven-run inning which erased a 3-0 deficit.
April 24, 2009: Raul Ibanez hits an electric grand slam off Joel Hanrahan to give Phils a 13-11 lead over Washington. This somehow outdoes the 2-run homer Ibanez had hit days earlier to reverse a ninth-inning deficit and beat the Padres.