The Cubs had 13 walkoff home runs in this five-season span. One player hit five of them, all within one calendar year’s time, and someone you probably would never have guessed would have a knack for that.
Who was it? (Clue in the photo.) Read on to find out!
August 30, 2001: The Cubs trailed 4-0 going into the bottom of the sixth. A three-run homer by Fred McGriff tied the game in the seventh and with one out in the bottom of the ninth, Bill Mueller homered (one of only six he had that year) and the Cubs beat the Marlins 5-4.
June 18, 2002: An interleague walkoff homer as the Texas Rangers visited Wrigley Field for the first time. Once again, Alex Gonzalez was the hero, walking it off for a 4-3 win. Check out the pitcher who gave it up, too.
August 2, 2002: Antonio Alfonseca blew a ninth-inning save and this game against the Rockies went to extras tied 4-4. Sammy Sosa led off the bottom of the 12th with a walk and Moises Alou hit the walkoff blast for a 6-4 victory.
September 9, 2002: Alex Gonzalez does it for the third time in what would wind up a 95-loss season. His homer with one out in the ninth gave the Cubs a 3-2 win over the Expos.
May 4, 2003: Guess who? A-Gon, again, this time against the Rockies with one out in the 10th inning. The Cubs won the game 5-4.
May 10, 2003: For the second time in a week and fifth time in a bit less than one calendar year, the walkoff homer hero was Alex Gonzalez, again in the 10th inning. This one beat the Cardinals 3-2 after Joe Borowski blew a save in the ninth. Here’s this A-Gon goner [VIDEO].
September 2, 2003, first game: This was a doubleheader because the game the day after A-Gon’s May 10 walkoff had been rained out after four innings (the game I called the “Typhoon Game,” it was so windy and wet).
The Cardinals took a 2-0 lead early, but the Cubs tied it in the bottom of the fifth. No one scored for what seemed like hours. Actually, it was hours — the game ran 4:47. In the bottom of the 12th, Augie Ojeda hit a fly ball that looked like it might be a walkoff homer, but it was caught right at the wall in left.
Then, in the last of the 15th — the latest inning for a walkoff so far in this series of articles — Sammy Sosa did walk it off. Here’s his HR that gave the Cubs a 3-2 win [VIDEO].
April 16, 2004: On a wacky day when the game-time temperature was 76 degrees and the wind was howling out to center field, the lead changed hands four times and the Cubs and Reds combined for nine home runs.
The last of those was hit by Moises Alou (his second of the game) in the bottom of the ninth for an 11-10 win after Sammy Sosa had homered two pitches earlier to tie the game.
July 1, 2004: This is the last of Sammy Sosa’s 10 walkoff home runs as a Cub. As far as I can tell, that’s the Cubs franchise record. (The MLB record is 13, held by Jim Thome.) The Cubs blew a 4-1 lead in the eighth, but Sammy’s leadoff homer in the 10th off Brad Lidge gave the Cubs the 5-4 win over the Astros. Here’s a look at Sammy’s home run [VIDEO].
August 25, 2004: This was one of LaTroy Hawkins’ nine (!) blown saves that year. The Brewers tied the game off Hawkins in the top of the ninth, but Corey Patterson smashed a two-run walkoff with two out in the bottom of the inning for a 4-2 win.
September 14, 2004: This one was all Corey Patterson — he hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and then a walkoff with two out in the 12th for a 3-2 win over the Pirates. Here is Corey’s walkoff [VIDEO].