For younger folks maybe it’s the “Bat Flip” or Kawhi’s 4-bounce bucket. But for Sarah and me it’s Oct 23, 1993 – 30 years ago. The greatest moment in Toronto sports history. We were there.
How important is a walk off World Series home run? When we went to Cooperstown in 2000, we saw Joe’s bat there – right beside Bill Mazeroski’s from 1960. I remember that home run too – heard it on the radio, in my Grade 10 classroom.
I’ll never forget that roller coaster of a game in ’93. Jays up 5-1 after a Paul Molitor home run. The bullpen choking. Trailing 6-5 going into the 9th. Mitch Williams jogging in from the bullpen.
I didn’t feel too bad though. Mitch had been shaky all series long. We had two Hall of Famers coming up. After a walk to Ricky Henderson and another Molitor line drive, I was pretty confident the Jays would tie it up.
When Joe got down two strikes I was a bit worried. Then came my favorite pitch of all time – poorly located fastball – down and in but over the plate.
Joe smoked it. Sarah screamed “Stay fair! Stay fair!” I thought it would hit the left field fence and we’d get two runs. Suddenly I saw Pete Incaviglia give up and start to turn toward the infield. “Touch ’em all Joe!”
It was over. Suddenly and violently and oh so sweetly over. I have never before or since been in a ballpark where 50,000 fans were jerked from worry to screaming insanity. I’ll never forget it. 30 years ago today. God bless you Mitch, wherever you are.