For an MLB player, there must be nothing better than hitting one of the greatest World Series home runs in baseball history. Of course, we’re just assuming that’s the case based on what every little kid dreamt about doing while playing baseball in the backyard growing up. But it’s a safe assumption considering that many of the best World Series moments are home runs.
On top of that, we often tie some of the top World Series performances of all time to players who hit clutch home runs. After all, that’s the magic of the home run. They tend to change games, and in the postseason, they tend to change series. This is why so many fans tend to remember the greatest World Series home runs ever hit.
Greatest World Series home runs
With all of that said, selecting the best World Series moments and the greatest World Series home runs wasn’t easy. Granted, most are obvious, but there have been so many players that delivered top World Series performances and clutch home runs that it’s hard to leave them out.
Nevertheless, here is our list of the absolute greatest World Series home runs that the baseball world has ever seen.
10. Derek Jeter, 2001
This is the home run that earned Derek Jeter the name of Mr. November. The game officially began on October 31 but with Jeter stepping up to the plate, Midnight struck and November arrived and Game 4 of the 2001 series officially became the first World Series game to be played in November.
On the ninth pitch of his duel with Byung-Hyun Kim, Jeter hit the ball the other way, just barely getting it over the wall to give the Yankees a walk-off win and tie the series 2-2.
9. Mickey Mantle, 1964
With the series tied 1-1 and Game 3 tied 1-1, everything was there for the taking when Mickey Mantle led off the bottom of the ninth inning.
Mantle reportedly told Elston Howard, who was on deck at the time, to go back to the clubhouse because Mantle was about to end the game. He did just that on a knuckleball from Barney Schultz that just didn’t knuckle. Mantle crushed the ball, giving the Yankees a 2-1 win and a 2-1 series lead, although the Cardinals would come back to win the series.
8. Dusty Rhodes, 1954
Game 1 of the 1954 World Series is best remembered for Willie Mays making “The Catch.”
People forget that Mays’ catch helped to set up Dusty Rhodes to come off the bench and hit a pinch-hit home run with two runners on base in the bottom of the 10th. The ball barely stayed fair and barely got over the wall, but Rhodes got just enough of it to win. The Giants took that Game 1 win and went on to sweep Cleveland, which was a huge favorite after winning 111 games during the regular season.
7. Carlton Fisk, 1975
Bernie Carbo deserves a little credit, as he hit a three-run pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6. Dwight Evans also made an incredible catch in the top of the 11th to keep the game tied.
Of course, all anybody remembers from Game 6 of the 1975 World Series is Carlton Fisk stepping up to the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning and then waving his arms in the air, almost begging the ball to stay fair, which it did. It was one of the most memorable walk-off home runs in World Series history, although the Red Sox would go on to lose Game 7 despite Fisk’s heroics in Game 6.
6. David Freese, 2011
David Freese had saved the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth with a triple that brought home the tying run.
Both teams scored runs and had a chance to win the game in the 10th, but Game 6 went to the 11th inning still tied.
That’s when Freese came up again.
This time, he sent the ball over the wall, giving the Cardinals a walk-off win to tie the series 3-3 after the Rangers were so close to sealing the series.
St. Louis would go on to win Game 7 with Freese earning World Series MVP largely because of his two massive hits in Game 6.
5. Kirby Puckett, 1991
With the Twins facing elimination, Kirby Puckett made an incredible catch in the third inning of Game 6 that may have helped give Minnesota the opportunity to force extra innings.
With the game tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 11th, Puckett launched a ball over the wall in left-center field. As the ball sailed beyond the wall, Jack Buck simply said “And we’ll see you tomorrow night.” Puckett had forced a Game 7 that the Twins would go on to win behind a great performance from Jack Morris.
4. Babe Ruth, 1932
Out of all of Babe Ruth’s home runs, this is the one time that he called his shot. At least that’s what the legend says.
The story goes that Ruth and Cubs’ fans spent most of Game 3 chirping with one another. During his at-bat in the fifth inning, Ruth took a pitch and then pointed to the bleachers behind the right-center field wall.
He did the same thing after every subsequent pitch, ultimately working the count to 2-2.
That’s when Ruth took the pitch from Charlie Root and deposited it right where he was pointing. Of course, the Yankees would go on to win the game and sweep the series.
3. Kirk Gibson, 1988
Kirk Gibson literally limped to the plate when he was called on to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
After getting hurt during the NLCS, he was actually doing physical therapy during the game. But with Oakland closer Dennis Eckersley close to sealing Game 1 for the A’s, Gibson hobbled to the plate and sent an Eckersley slider into the right-field bleachers, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 walk-off win.
With both legs hurting, Gibson somehow managed to round the bases, pumping his fists the whole time. After taking Game 1 behind Gibson’s home run, Los Angeles would end up winning the series in five games.
2. Joe Carter, 1993
Joe Carter’s home run was just the second time that a World Series ended on a walk-off home run.
It’s only second on our list because it happened in Game 6 rather than an elimination game. However, the Phillies looked poised to force a Game 7 until Mitch Williams ran into some trouble in the ninth inning. Two runners reached base to bring Carter to the plate with the Blue Jays trailing by a run. Williams practically fell over delivering the pitch, allowing Carter to get enough of it to get over the wall.
The famous call of “Touch ‘em all, Joe. You’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life” makes this moment all the more iconic.
1. Bill Mazeroski, 1960
To date, this remains the only walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series, which means it has to be at the top of the list of the greatest World Series home runs.
The funny thing about this series is that the Yankees were winning in blowouts while the Pirates were eking out close wins, so the Yankees outscored them 55-27 in the series.
But the Pirates found some magic in Game 7, scoring five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take the lead, only to see the Yankees score two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game.
But that set up Bill Mazeroski, who was more known for his defense (winner of eight Gold Gloves) to win the game and become a legendary figure in Pittsburgh for the rest of his life.