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Nuggetpalooza: Walk-off-a-palooza!

03.13.12 at 9:49 am ET
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In honor of Red Sox farmhand Pedro Ciriaco (No. 77 in your program), who homered in walk-off fashion on Monday afternoon in Fort Myers, here are some walk-off nuggets:

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* – There were 74 walk-off home runs last season in the major leagues. The Rays and Indians each had seven such blasts to lead the league on the offensive side, while the Cardinals, Mariners, Royals, and Braves each allowed five, the most on defense. The only team that did not allow a walk-off homer last year was the Mets, and the only two that failed to hit at least one were the Twins and Yankees. The Yankees had hit at least one such homer in each of the previous 15 seasons.

The Red Sox hit one walkoff shot last season (Jacoby Ellsbury‘s Aug. 3 shot against Cleveland), extending their streak to 17 straight seasons with at least one walk-off bomb. That’s the longest current streak in the AL, but is just the fourth longest in the majors:

47 – Dodgers (since 1967)
18 – Reds (since 1994)
17 – Red Sox (since 1995)
17 – Phillies (since 1995)

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* – Since 1950, the all-time leaders in walk-off home runs are Jim Thome, Mickey Mantle and Frank Robinson, with 12. Tony Perez is next with 11, while nine players have 10, including Boston’s David Ortiz and the Angels’ Albert Pujols.

The Red Sox’ leaders:

9 – David Ortiz
6 – Jackie Jensen
5 – Jim Rice
4 – Carl Yastrzemski
4 – Dwight Evans

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* – The only time since ’50 that the Red Sox have hit walk-off homers on consecutive days was May 10-11, 2005, when Kevin Millar and Jason Varitek each hit game-winners, both coming off Oakland’s Octavio Dotel.

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* – The Angels have allowed at least one walk-off home run in 19 of their last 20 regular seasons. The only one in which they avoided serving one up was 2004, the same season in which they were eliminated from the postseason by an Ortiz game-ending blast.

The White Sox claim the longest current streak of seasons allowing at least one walk-off home run as they have served up at least one in every season since 1980 (32 straight years). The Giants have allowed at least one in each of the last 30 seasons.

As noted earlier, the Mets were the only team that did not allow a walk-off homer last season, snapping a streak of eight straight seasons where they had allowed at least two such homers. That tied the longest streak in Mets history. However, the Royals have allowed at least two walk-off home runs in each of the last 10 seasons, the second longest such streak by any team since 1950 (Twins, 1995-2005).

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* – The Cardinals have allowed five or more walk-off bombs in three of the last four seasons. Seattle has done that in the last two seasons in a row. Twelve different teams have allowed five or more at least once in the last three years. The Reds are the only team that has been in existence for more than 20 years and not suffered five or more walk-offs in any of the last 62 seasons. They’ve allowed four five different times, but never five.

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* – Since 1950, Elroy Face‘s 16 walk-off home runs allowed are the most in the majors:

16 – Elroy Face
13 – Rollie Fingers
12 – Randy Myers

Notes: Face allowed four walk-offs in a single season twice (1960, 1961). Only seven other pitchers have allowed four in a single season even once. The last pitchers to allow four in a season were Myers in 1989 and Calvin Schiraldi, who allowed four in 1987 while pitching for the Red Sox. He allowed three before Memorial Day that year. … Schiraldi’s five career walk-offs allowed is the most since 1950 by a Red Sox pitcher. Dick Radatz allowed four, while five different Sox hurlers allowed three (Bob Stanley, Ellis Kinder, Dick Drago, Sparky Lyle and Jeff Reardon). … Claude Raymond allowed at least one walk-off homer in a league record eight consecutive seasons (1963-70) which pitching for the Milwaukee Braves, Astros, Atlanta Braves, and Expos. … The MarinersBrandon League has allowed a walk-off homer in each of the last three seasons, the longest current streak in the league.

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* – Yogi Berra is the only player since 1950 to hit three walk-off home runs against Boston in his career. Eight players have hit two: Mickey Mantle, Reggie Jackson, Graig Nettles, Alex Rodriguez, Pat Kelly, Hector Lopez, Bobby Grich and Gates Brown.

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* – The sweetest of all walk-off hits is the game-winning home run when it comes with two outs, two strikes, and your team trailing on the scoreboard. Those are rare birds, as there has not been one in the major leagues since September, 2009, when the Nationals’ Justin Maxwell hit a grand slam off of the Mets’ Francisco Rodriguez while one strike away from a loss. It was one of just nine home runs that Maxwell hit as a major leaguer.

Since 1988, when they first began tracking the ball/strike count, the Red Sox have hit just three walk-off homers with two outs and two strikes while trailing:

Dwight Evans – June, 1990 against the Orioles
David Ortiz – June, 2005 against the Orioles
David Ortiz – June, 2006 against the Rangers

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* – Finally, here are the Red Sox all-time (since 1950) leaders in walk-off hits (not necessarily home runs):

15 – David Ortiz
11 – Carl Yastrzemski
10 – Jackie Jensen
10 – Jim Rice
8 – Carlton Fisk
7 – Dwight Evans

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Counting down to the Red Sox opener in T-minus 23 days!

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