The 8 Most Dramatic MLB Playoff Endings

Walkoffs, home runs, and prayers answered - who made the best plays in September and October?

If you're a baseball fan, there's no better time than the playoffs to enjoy the best that the game has to offer, with moments that define players' and teams' legacies over the years.

And since the calendar has changed from September to October, giving us a few shocking moments already in this postseason, I'm taking a look at some of the most dramatic endings in MLB playoff history.

They might not have Hollywood films in honor of them, but they definitely could.

Honorable Mention. An 18-inning Thriller

Look, this one might have just happened a few days ago, but I just had to give it its due by mentioning it here.

In a classic pitchers’ duel, the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants played the longest game in postseason history, going 18 innings and lasting nearly six-in-a-half hours long.

While it may have "just" been the second game in a Divisional Series, there were plenty of theatrics that made this one a game to remember. From the Giants tying the game at one in the top of the ninth inning to get to extra frames, to the solo homer that Giants' first baseman Brandon Belt hit in the top of the 18th to secure the win, the Giants-Nationals game was a reminder of everything that's right with playoff baseball.

8. 2004 ALCS Game 7

This one might not have been a single game, but it gets the nod on my list because it got the monkey off the backs of the Boston Red Sox—eliminating the ghosts of the 2003 loss to the New York Yankees and, eventually, the Curse of the Bambino.

After getting outscored 32-16 in the first three games of the series, the Sox looked dead in the water, leaving their fans humiliated and wondering why another season was lost.

That all changed when Boston rolled off three-straight games in dramatic fashion to tie the series at three apiece, with Game 7 left to be played in the old Yankee Stadium.

With a grand slam by then Red Sox outfielder Johnny Damon in the second inning, Boston fans' hearts were probably slowed a little bit.

But it wasn't until the final out in the ninth inning that Beantown could rest easy, as Boston became the first ever MLB team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in the playoffs to win a series—and then winning their first World Series title in 86 years by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals a week later.

7. Edgar Martinez's Double

While there have been famous doubles in MLB history, the one that former Seattle Mariners great Edgar Martinez hit during the 1995 ALDS against the New York Yankees was maybe the biggest.

With rumors of the team being relocated due to their lack of winning and interest in the city, Edgar delivered a hit that may have saved baseball in the Great Northwest.

Trailing by a run to the Yanks in the bottom of the 11th and a runner on first and third, Martinez delivered a rocket down the left filed line that scored both runners, with Ken Griffey Jr. scoring all the way from first to clinch the series and send the M's to the ALCS—where they eventually lost to the Cleveland Indians.

Still, the hit is generally regarded as the biggest in club history.

6. Fisk Tells the Ball Where to Go

It's one of the most referenced moments in Boston sports history—former catcher Carlton Fisk pleading with the baseball to stay fair down the left field line during Game 6 of the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Sure, the Red Sox didn't end up winning the series, but the scene of Fisk doing what he could to make that damn ball stay fair—which it did by hitting the foul pole—is one that every sports fan has seen over and over. As the crowd rushed the field and "Pudge" made his way around the bases, it was a reminder at just how starved the franchise was to end the "Curse of the Bambino"—which had fans waiting nearly 30 years after this hit to finally happen.

5. Renteria Wins It for the Marlins

Game 7 of the 1997 World Series between the Florida Marlins and Cleveland Indians was a reminder that anything can happen at anytime during a final game of a postseason series.

With the Tribe clinging to a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, the entire city was anticipating the first major championship since the 1964 Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship—yes, pre-Super Bowl.

As the champagne was seemingly rolled into the visitor's locker room for a celebration, Marlins second baseman Craig Counsell delivered a clutch RBI sac fly that scored Moises Alou to tie the game and send it to extra innings.

With Florida shortstop Edgar Renteria digging in the 11th inning, he singled right over the glove of Indians pitcher Charles Nagy, with the ball skimming the pitcher's glove on its way to center field—scoring Counsell for the game and Series-clinching run.

4. The Captain Becomes Mr. November

As the longtime New York Yankees shortstop steps away from the game that made him famous, I have to acknowledge one of his many memorable, postseason moments.

Whatever your thoughts are on Derek Jeter, there's no denying that the guy had a flair for the dramatic.

Whether it was the famous flip that he pulled off against the Oakland A's in the ALDS in 2001, or his home run to win Game 3 of the World Series, The Captain seemed to shine brightest when the lights were on full blast.

With baseball being played for the first time in November due to the unfortunate attacks on 9/11, Jeter hit a game-winning homer against the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings, giving the Yanks the win, and earning him the nickname of "Mr. November" thanks to his clutch hit.

3. Kirk Gibson's Home Run

While fans have probably heard varying stories about the condition of former L.A. Dodgers slugger Kirk Gibson during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, the fact of the matter is that he could barely stand.

With seemingly every part of his leg in pain, Gibson still suited up for the start of the Fall Classic against the Oakland A's—even though no one thought he would get in the game.

That all changed when Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda called his name in the bottom of the ninth inning, with L.A. trailing 4-3 and facing MLB saves leader, Dennis Eckersley.

What happened next? Gibson hobbled to the plate and took an Eckersley slider over the right field wall, sending everyone in attendance not wearing Oakland A's colors into a frenzy—and setting the tone for the Dodgers to capture the World Series in five games.

2. Luis Gonzalez’s Walk-Off

This is the moment that every single boy dreams about having in his backyard while growing up.

Bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, tie game—with the best closer in MLB history on the bump facing you.

That was the situation former Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star Luis Gonzalez found himself in during Game 7 of the 2001 World Series.

Facing a New York Yankees team that had won the previous three Fall Classics, Gonzalez dug into the box against Mariano Rivera, hoping to just put the ball somewhere where no defenders were.

And that's exactly what he did, as "Gonzo" slapped a blooper just over second base to score Craig Counsell, giving the Diamondbacks their first ever MLB title in just their fourth season—and unseating a Yankees dynasty.

1. The Ball Gets By Buckner

No matter if you're the biggest Boston Red Sox fan or hater, everyone has a soft spot for Bill Buckner.

With the franchise on the cusp of winning their first World Series since selling Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees back in 1919, the curse reared its ugly head one more time.

This time it came on an in-between hop on a simple ground ball towards the aforementioned Buckner in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets.

At one point just one strike away from winning the title, the Mets staged a stunning comeback, as Mookie Wilson's ball slipped through Buckner's legs to score Ray Knight and send the series to Game 7.

It was in that game that New York closed the curtain on the Fall Classic, giving Red Sox fans another reason to fear the Curse of the Bambino.

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